Toulouse ended a 66-year drought for titles by crowning, on Saturday, the French Cup champion, at the expense of defending champion Nantes, with a sweeping score of 5-1, at the Stade de France, in the suburbs of the capital, Paris.
Logan Costa from Cape Verde (D: 4 and 10) and Dutchman Tess Dallinga (D: 23 and 31) scored in the first half, so that the southern team won the title early, in front of the eyes of French President Emmanuel Macron and 78,000 spectators.
Ludovic Blas narrowed the deficit in the second half from a penalty kick (75th minute), before Moroccan Zakaria Abu Kholl quickly restored the four-goal difference (79th minute).
This is the largest difference in a French Cup final, since Saint-Etienne’s victory against Nantes also in 1970 (5-0).
Last year, Nantes ended a title drought that had lasted since winning the domestic league title in 2001, by defeating Nice 1-0 in the final. He was aspiring for his fifth title in the cup competition, which he also won in 1979, 1999 and 2000.
Costa opened the scoring with a header, following a corner executed by Dutchman Branko van den Bomen (D: 4), and the second added a header also with a cross from the latter’s citizen, Stein Springs, who reached the ball after a wrong distraction from the defense for a free kick (D: 10).
Dallinga scored the third goal, after a wonderful curling ball hit him on the right corridor from a distance from Chilean Gabriel Suasso into the area and followed it into the net (D: 23), and added the fourth after the goalkeeper blocked the Algerian Fares Al-Shaabi’s shot, to prepare in front of the Dutchman, who followed it into the goal (D: 23). D: 31).
Toulouse became the first team to score at least four goals in the first half of the French Cup final, since Lille against Bordeaux in 1955, according to the Opta statistics website.
A quarter of an hour before the end, Nantes won a penalty kick after being fouled by Dane Rasmus Nikolaisen on Fabian Santos. Blas, who scored the winning goal against Nice in last year’s final, also succeeded from a penalty kick.
But Toulouse quickly responded with a missile shot by Moroccan Abu Khallal from outside the area in the roof of the net (D: 79), raising his tally to nine goals with his team this season.
This defeat added to the suffering of Nantes (eight-time French champion) this season, as it struggles in the local league to avoid relegation to the second division by finishing in 16th place without winning any of its last nine matches, unlike Toulouse, which appears to be in a good position to stay between grown ups.