Crucial win for Valenciennes
Last Updated: 15/03/14 9:38pm
Gary Kagelmacher celebrates Valenciennes' victory
Valenciennes breathed fresh life into their survival campaign with a crucial 1-0 win at fellow strugglers Evian.
Defeat would have left Ariel Jacob's side with a mountainous task to pull out of the bottom three, but Abdul Waris turned in the game's only goal on 63 minutes.
The win moves VA two points behind Evian, who occupy the final safety position, and with second-bottom Sochaux also winning on Saturday night the fight to beat the drop intensified.
Evian had won their previous two league games and tested Valenciennes goalkeeper Macedo Novaes early. Cedric Barbosa sent Kevin Berigaud into space inside the area, but his fierce shot was palmed away by the Brazilian goalkeeper.
Berigaud shot over when well placed on 23 minutes after some handy work by Youssouf Sabaly down the right.
Tongo Doumbia came closest for VA in the opening half, shooting wide when he thrashed at the ball from 25 yards.
Evian goalkeeper Jesper Hansen had next to nothing to do in the first half and when he was finally tested, five minutes after half-time, he held on to Matheiu Dossevi's 30-yard free-kick.
Hansen's next act was to see his superb reflex save fall for Waris to score the match-winner.
The Danish goalkeeper did brilliantly to keep out Dossevi's close-range header but the ball fell kindly for Waris to poke home.
It could have been worse for Evian as Hansen made another top-quality save. This time he did mange to deny Waris, who had run on to a Marco Da Silva pass and got everything behind a shot that appeared destined for the far corner until Hansen acrobatically intervened.
Evian's best chance of a leveller came on 75 minutes when Novaes got down well to keep out a Clarck N'Sikulu effort.
French Ligue 1
|1||Paris St Germain||35||74|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||35||37|