AS Monaco was eliminated from the Coupe de France’s Round of 16 by third tier French side FC Rouen in a shocking upset to forget at the Stade Robert Diochon on the evening of Thursday, February 8.
Rouen put up a fight despite occupying seventh place in the Championnat National, while the favourites to win were caught out by surprise. Folarin Balogun managed to get Monaco ahead with a successfully converted penalty at the 33rd minute, but the hosts’ back to back shots eventually resulted in a goal five minutes into the first half’s injury time.
The teams therefore returned to the locker rooms level on goals and determined to score more. However, neither side could find the back of the net before the final whistle blew to signal the deciding penalty shootout.
Aleksandr Golovin, Eliesse Ben Seghir, Youssouf Fofana and Thilo Kehrer all scored from the spot, while Radosław Majecki made his first save of the shootout for Monaco on Rouen’s fourth attempt, leading to an all important penalty for Balogun to win the match for the visiting Monegasques.
The opposing goalkeeper anticipated Balogun’s shot well and stopped his attempt to send the match to sudden death. Youngster Maghnes Akliouche was put on the spot and subsequently failed to convert his penalty, sealing the deal for a defeated Monaco.
Elimination from the Coupe de France by a third tier team is no doubt a tough pill to swallow for supporters of the Principality side, but is all the more of an upset after the Monegasques’ heroic win in a penalty shootout against top flight team FC Lens in the tournament’s Round of 64 in January.
Monaco head coach Adi Hütter must now regroup and recalibrate his team ahead of the Côte d’Azur derby against OGC Nice at the Allianz Arena on the evening of Sunday, February 11.
Featured image courtesy of AS Monaco