Both OFC teams who were in Coupe de France action over the weekend have missed out on a place in the next round after losing to their French-based opponents.
New Caledonia’s Hienghène Sport and Tahiti’s AS Vénus lost 2-1 and 3-0 to French fourth-tier sides Olympique Saint-Quentin and ASM Belfort FC respectively.
The two sides both qualified for round seven of the Coupe de France by virtue of winning their respective domestic cup competitions in New Caledonia and Tahiti.
Hienghène travelled over 17,000km to face Saint-Quentin at Stade Paul Debrésie in Northern France and can hold their heads up high despite defeat.
For a while, it seemed the visitors were going to cause an upset, and finally earn a spot in round eight at the fourth time of asking after defeats at this stage in 2013, 2015 and 2019.
A sizzling counter-attack, led by talismanic captain Bertrand Kai, was forced home from close range by Brice Dahite to give the New Caledonian side the lead after 38 minutes.
🏆⚽ Buuuut ! Le Hienghène Sport ouvre le score lors du match du 7ᵉ tour de la #CoupedeFrance de #football, qui oppose l’équipe calédonienne à l’OL Saint-Quentin !
Suivez le match en direct 👉 https://t.co/LYW3JXU2l3 pic.twitter.com/fhMfmZRExp
— La1ere.fr (@la1ere) October 29, 2022
However, the hosts fought back, Jessy Cambrone scoring direct from a free-kick just past the hour mark to equalise. Hienghène hearts were then broken in stoppage time when substitute Valentin Viot headed home what proved to be the winner.
Meanwhile, AS Vénus welcomed ASM Belfort to Tahiti knowing that victory would earn them a trip to France in the next round.
However, Belfort’s 30-hour journey clearly did not have a detrimental impact on the visiting side who scored three goals in the final 25 minutes to claim victory.
Vénus started strongly and held out for much of the game before Julien Chapit nodded home the opener from close range. Belfort captain Lucas Cuenin then doubled the advantage with a towering header before Chapit’s second in stoppage time added gloss to the final scoreline.
Both OFC-based sides will now return to domestic competition with Hienghène Sport chasing table-topping Tiga Sport in the Super Ligue title race while AS Vénus will look to continue their winning start to the Ligue 1 season.