Diarra goal frustrates Nantes
Last Updated: 08/03/14 10:45pm
Ajaccio's Mexican goalkeeper Memo catches the ball
Sigamary Diarra struck a last-gasp equaliser as Ligue 1's whipping boys Ajaccio denied freefalling Nantes what would have been their first victory in eight matches.
Nantes had taken just two points from a possible 21 to slump to within two spots of the drop zone, but they looked to have finally secured a win as goals from Serge Gakpe and Filip Djordjevic overturned Mehdi Mostefa's early opener for Ajaccio.
However, with victory seemingly in their grasp, the 2001 French champions were denied right at the death when Diarra slotted home two minutes into stoppage time as the match finished 2-2.
That late goal saw Nantes slip to within seven points of the relegation zone following third-bottom Valenciennes' win over Rennes, and completed a miserable few days for Les Canaris after seeing their appeal against a 16-month transfer embargo fail on Friday.
Diarra's equaliser will not have brought rock-bottom Ajaccio much cheer either, though, as while it helped them avoid a fourth successive loss, results elsewhere mean they are now 10 points adrift of safety.
For a brief while the Corsicans were on course for only their third win of the campaign after taking a fourth-minute lead through Mostefa, who headed home unmarked from a Benjamin Andre corner.
The visitors were ahead for barely three minutes before Nantes drew level, though. Issa Cissokho took advantage of a poor clearance by the Ajaccio defence to send in a cross which Gakpe turned in on the run.
Despite that quick setback, Ajaccio had two chances to get back in front either side of half-time but Ricardo Faty's shot was deflected just wide before Diarra's 25-yard effort was turned away by Remy Riou in the home goal.
It was Nantes' turn to then go close in the 57th minute, and they should really have taken the lead with the unmarked Djordjevic somehow contriving to miss from six yards out when a goal looked certain.
Djordjevic did much better six minutes later, but this time the ball crash against the post after he had connected sweetly on the volley.
It proved to third time lucky for the Serbia international in the 76th minute, though, as he put Nantes ahead following a superb ball in from Jordan Veretout.
And that looked set to be the match-winner, only for Diarra to stun them with a late leveller.
The home defence failed to clear the danger and Diarra was perfectly placed to make the most of the chance as he tapped home from close range, leaving Nantes keeper Riou furious with his defenders and Les Canaris ever closer to the drop zone.
French Ligue 1
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|17||Evian Thonon Gaillar||17||19|