Monaco’s dramatic finish puts them into French League Cup semis


Monaco's Radamel Falcao reacts after scoring. (Claude Paris/AP)

PARIS — Monaco needed a late equalizer from Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho and a penalty shootout before beating second division Sochaux to reach the French League Cup semifinals on Tuesday.

The match finished 1-1 and, with no extra time in the competition, went directly to penalties — with Monaco prevailing 4-3.

Sochaux, which beat Marseille in the previous round, led through Madagascar striker Faneva Andriatsima’s goal in the 16th minute.

Although Monaco is second in the league, it struggled for long periods against a Sochaux side that is chasing promotion.

The introduction of Colombia striker Radamel Falcao midway through the second half galvanized Monaco and he contributed to the 83rd minute equalizer.

Falcao’s instinctive shot from the edge of the penalty area was palmed away by goalkeeper Christopher Dilo and the ball sat up for Moutinho to volley home.

It was only Moutinho’s second goal of the season, with the other coming in a 3-1 home win against Paris Saint-Germain in August.

Moments later, Falcao had a goal ruled out because striker Guido Carrillo was offside and obscuring Dilo’s view.

Sochaux, which reached the French Cup semifinals last season, beat Marseille in a penalty shootout last month.

There was to be no repeat.

Falcao confidently dispatched Monaco’s first kick, sending Dilo the wrong way, but Andriatsima did likewise.

After Poland defender Kamil Glik made it 3-2 to Monaco, midfielder Marco Ilaimaharitra hit the post.

France right back Djibril Sidibe made it 4-2 and, after Sochaux scored, Carrillo missed the chance to send Monaco through when he shot straight at Dilo.

He was reprieved when Sochaux striker Moussa Sao blazed his kick well over to leave the score 4-3.

Monaco, which beat Sochaux in the 2003 final, was joined in the semis by Nancy after it won 2-0 at Nantes.

On Wednesday, defending champion Paris Saint-Germain hosts Metz and Guingamp travels to Bordeaux.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.