Hope for Valenciennes
Last Updated: 08/03/14 10:47pm
Valenciennes' Ghanean forward Majeed Waris is congratulated
Valenciennes boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 win over fellow Ligue 1 strugglers Rennes.
After a goalless first half, Ola Toivonen gave Rennes the lead only for Mathieu Dossevi and Abdul Majeed Waris to turn the game around, the latter following up after his penalty was saved.
The win leaves Valenciennes on 25 points and still in the third relegation place, five points behind Evian and six adrift of their opponents - who had Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik sent off for conceding the penalty for the winning goal.
Valenciennes' two goalscorers almost combined for an opener in the 11th minute, Dossevi taking a cleverly disguised pass from Waris but seeing his goalbound volley cleared off the line by Cheikh M'Bengue.
Rennes replied with a Kamil Grosicki drive and a Romain Alessandrini free-kick, both parried away by goalkeeper Magno Novaes.
Gregory Pujol headed Rudy Mater's free-kick just wide for Valenciennes as a tepid first half petered out in stalemate - but the second was a different story.
Toivonen broke the deadlock just four minutes after the interval, following in to score after Novaes parried Romain Danze's 20-yard drive into the Swede's path.
Dossevi replied just five minutes later, turning in Waris' cross from close range.
And the decisive moment came in the 76th minute when Kana-Biyik brought down Tongo Doumbia and was given his marching orders. Waris saw his spot-kick blocked by keeper Benoit Costil but followed up to ram the ball home.
Marco Da Silva almost made it three late on, his free-kick curling inches over the crossbar, but 2-1 was more than enough for the home side.
French Ligue 1
|7||Paris St Germain||3||5|
|20||Evian Thonon Gaillar||3||1|