Veteran defender Sebastien Squillaci was the hero for Bastia as they secured their place in the Coupe de la Ligue final in a dramatic penalty shootout win against Monaco. With no goals on the scoreboard after 120 minutes of play, spot-kicks were needed to decide who would face Paris Saint-Germain at the Stade de France on April 11. And it was Bastia who came through a nail-biting finale, with Squillaci scoring the decisive kick to win the shoot-out 7-6 and knock his former employers out of the competition. Monaco had the best of the chances throughout the initial 90 minutes but were wasteful in front of goal. Joao Moutinho teed up Dimitar Berbatov after 22 minutes, but his shot was kept out by Bastia goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who then denied the Bulgarian again five minutes later. Valere Germain tried his luck from distance but could only find the side-netting. Moutinho found himself in a promising position after 58 minutes only to direct his shot wide of the left post. Bastia's best chance arrived in the closing stages, but Julian Palmieri's diving header was blocked on the line by Maarten Stekelenburg and it soon became apparent more time would be needed to decide the contest. Not even the extra half hour could produce a goal, although Moutinho came close with a free kick two minutes from time which dipped inches over the bar. A shootout quickly followed. That looked to be going Monaco's way when Stekelenburg made two saves to help the home side go 3-1 ahead, but Moutinho's missed attempt allowed Bastia back into the contest. In the end it took 18 spot-kicks to determine the winner, with Nabil Dirar hitting the bar for Monaco before Squillaci slammed home to send the visitors through.
Football LIGUE 1