Brest, Montpellier and Nantes reach last 16 of French Cup

Brest's Romain Faivre, left, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal from a penalty kick during the French League One soccer match between Marseille and Brest at the Veldrome stadium in Marseille, France, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Daniel Cole/AP)

PARIS — Fraser Hornby had been on the field only three minutes when he scored with seconds of injury time remaining, as first division Reims scraped a 1-0 win at amateur side Thaon to reach the last 16 of the French Cup on Sunday.

The imposing Scottish striker got ahead of the defense to meet a last-gasp free kick from the left, sparing Reims a tense penalty shootout with no extra time played in the competition.

Reims had brought on top scorer Hugo Ekitike in the 60th minute, only for the player to get sent off six minutes later.

So it proved an inspired move by Spanish coach Oscar Garcia, who played for Barcelona, to bring on the 1.95-meter Hornby, who was once on the books of Premier League Everton.

It was Hornby's first goal for Reims.

Elsewhere, first division teams Brest, Monaco, Montpellier, Nantes, and Saint-Etienne also advanced but 2019 champion Rennes lost to second-tier Nancy on penalty kicks.

Monaco had seven players out after they contracted the coronavirus and won 3-1 at second-tier Quevilly-Rouen, with France striker Wissam Ben Yedder opening the scoring and German forward Kevin Volland grabbing two goals.

Saint-Etienne is last in the first division but took control with early goals and added two late ones in a 4-1 win at amateur side Jura Sud.

Nancy, which launched the career of France great Michel Platini, won 4-3 in the shootout after a 1-1 draw. The 19-year-old Belgium forward Jeremy Doku put Rennes ahead in the 58th minute and Mickael Biron equalized 20 minutes later.

Second-tier Bastia, the 1981 champion when Cameroon star Roger Milla scored in the final, beat top-tier Clermont 2-0. Clermont was promoted last year but is struggling.

Midfielder Ludovic Blas and forward Willem Geubbels scored for Nantes in a 2-0 home win against fourth-tier Vitre. Brest beat Bordeaux 3-0 and Montpellier downed Strasbourg 1-0 in all-first division contests.

Second division Toulouse scraped a 1-0 win at fifth-tier Cannes, which was once a regular in the top flight and won the Cup in 1932, and second-tier Amiens advanced on penalties against amateur side Linas-Montlhery.

Fourth-tier Versailles advanced with a 4-0 win against fifth-tier La Roche-sur-Yon, and fourth-tier Bergerac won 5-4 on penalty kicks against third-tier Creteil after a 0-0 draw.

In the day's last game, 10-time winner Marseille is playing at fifth-tier Chauvigny. Marseille last won the competition in 1989 and has lost three finals since.

French clubs are back playing for the first time in 1 1/2 weeks, a break which allowed players to go home or on holiday.

Holder Paris Saint-Germain will be without star forward Lionel Messi, left back Juan Bernat, backup goalkeeper Sergio Rico and midfielder Nathan Bitumazala for Monday's French Cup match at third-tier Vannes.

They all tested positive for the coronavirus with Messi recovering in Argentina.

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