L1 / L2 play-offs: Auxerre snatches its rise on penalties and sends Saint-Étienne to Ligue 2

L1 / L2 play-offs: Auxerre snatches its rise on penalties and sends Saint-Étienne to Ligue 2

AS Saint-Étienne will play in Ligue 2 next season! At the end of the penalty shootout, AJ Auxerre won the day this Sunday (1-1, 4-5 on pens), in the L1/L2 return barrage and will return to the elite ten years after leaving it . The stoppage of Donovan Léon, at the start of the session, on Ryad Boudebouz’s first attempt, was decisive. The meeting also ended in an electric atmosphere, the public having quickly invaded the lawn with smoke bombs and various projectiles in hand, the players having to immediately return to the locker rooms.

It is a terrible fall for ASSE, monument of French football, after a trying season, finished in 18th place in Ligue 1, during which the arrival of Pascal Dupraz will not have cured all the ills. The Greens were not necessarily bad this Sunday, but they took too long to pack the meeting on the one hand, and showed too little realism, on the other hand. In regulation time, they set a very high pace at the start of each half, without managing to make it bear fruit. Léon, the doorman of Auxerre, was already showing himself alert to get out of dangerous crosses (2nd, 46th) or to intervene on the attempt of Youssouf (3rd).

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Romain Hamouma (Saint-Étienne) and Carlens Arcus (Auxerre).

Credit: Imago

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Without necessarily being superior, Jean-Marc Furlan’s players have shown strong confidence, never deviating from their game plan and often showing good technical quality. Gaëtan Charbonnier could have opened the scoring (15th, 39th) but it was ultimately Hamza Sakhi, with a diving header from a cross from Autret, who allowed his team to take the lead in both games ( 0-1, 51st).

While the atmosphere had taken a bad cold, the Stéphanois having more difficulty in moving forward, the solution came in particular from the incoming Enzo Crivelli. Combative, the former Bastiais, holder in the first leg, headed a corner from Romain Hamouma, finally extended by Mahdi Camara in the back of the net (1-1, 77th). The boat had rocked seriously, but the Greens then seemed able to gain the upper hand. In the end, they only postponed the deadline.

Saint-Étienne – Auxerre (dam L1-L2)

Credit: Getty Images

Leon, opposite hand

There were indeed a few match points, while the Auxerrois seemed to be running out of steam more and more. Denis Bouanga got a first but was a little too centered and mainly faced Donovan Léon, always decisive (87th). During extra time, the accelerations of Arnaud Nordin, who came on in the second half, sent a thrill of excitement through the stadium, without a goal coming to validate it (116th, 117th, 118th).

The shots on goal quickly drew an advantage when Léon, therefore, released the very first strike, that of Ryad Boudebouz, on the opposite hand. The Auxerre snipers remained very calm to race in the lead, until Birama Touré’s final goal, leaving all of his teammates to exult and savor the feat. The disillusion is immense for Sainté, the pride is gigantic for Jean-Marc Furlan and AJA, the second Ligue 2 club to climb since the return from the play-offs, after Troyes in 2016-2017.

Donovan Léon (AJ Auxerre) stopped the shot on goal from Ryad Boudebouz (Saint-Étienne), Sunday May 29, 2022. / Play-offs L1-L2

Credit: Getty Images

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