Ajaccio dent VA's survival hopes
Last Updated: 22/03/14 10:50pm
Issa Baradji (l) celebrates with his Ajaccio team-mates
Teenage substitute Issa Baradji fired a late double to hand Ajaccio a rare Ligue 1 win - 3-2 at relegation-threatened Valenciennes.
With five minutes remaining, Valenciennes were on the point of climbing out of the bottom three, leading 2-1 and just needing to see out the closing stages.
Eighteen-year-old Baradji intervened though in dramatic style, grabbing an 87th-minute equaliser and a late winner to earn the visitors a 3-2 success.
They were his first goals in senior professional football, and capped an entertaining second half in which Valenciennes twice led but finished with no reward.
Majeed Waris scored in the 51st and 72nd minutes for Valenciennes, with Benjamin Andre netting between those goals for the away side and Baradji breaking home hearts.
Valenciennes had been on the brink of a third straight victory, while for Ajaccio their success was only a third win all season in a dismal Ligue 1 campaign that they have conceded will end in relegation.
There has been no such resignation to that fate at Valenciennes and after a quiet first half, in which Gary Kagelmacher and Gregory Pujol went close with headers from corners, they looked to be taking charge.
The opening goal came when Marco Da Silva and Arthur Masuaku combined to give Waris a sight of goal, and his low right-footed drive beat Guillermo Ochoa.
Ajaccio levelled when Paul Lasne crossed from the right and Andre collected the ball and beat two defenders before shooting past Magno Novaes.
The second from Waris was a penalty, after Joshua Nadeau fouled Maor Melikson, and he cracked a powerful shot high into the net.
But then came the late twist, just as Valenciennes looked poised to overtake fourth-bottom Evian.
Baradji levelled with a powerful first-time shot from Pujol's left-wing cross, and headed in unmarked in the 90th minute after poor defending at a corner.
French Ligue 1
|7||Paris St Germain||3||5|
|20||Evian Thonon Gaillar||3||1|