Coupe de la Ligue: Heroics from Badiashile lift Monaco into the semi-final


AS Monaco eliminated Stade Rennais in a penalty shootout on Wednesday night at Louis II, giving them a berth in the semifinal of the Coupe de la Ligue. This quarterfinal victory was offered to the team by the heroic play of young Monaco goalkeeper Loïc Badiashile.

A match that will finally put a smile back on the faces of many Monegasque supporters.  In a nearly empty Stade Louis II, AS Monaco will have overcome the odds by defeating Rennes in the Stade Louis II after a long penalty shootout (8-7). Young goalkeeper Loïc Badiashile finished the shootout by scoring the winning goal, propelling his team into the final four of the competition.

Deprived of 13 players, Thierry Henry was once again obliged to compose his team with the resources available. Fortunately, the side was recently reinforced by Rony Lopes and new recruit Naldo. From the start, the team showed spark that we have rarely seen from them this season. Defending and balancing the game well, the Monegasque side clearly came to win this match. Nevertheless, the Bretons would open the scoring in the 30th minute. Some clever footwork from Hatem Ben Arfa would open up a clear shooting lane for Benjamin Bourigeaud. The first half would finish 1-0 in favor of the visitors.

Thierry Henry’s men would continue their attacking efforts in the second half, finally breaking through in the 55th minute when Rony Lopes received a perfect centering cross from Julien Serrano. His one-touch finish would equalize for AS Monaco (1-1). The score would not change through the rest of the match, resulting in a penalty shootout.

Loïc Badiashile, the makings of a hero

The AS Monaco-Stade Rennais penalty shootout was not a beautiful site. Many players did not display their best skills and ended up missing badly. Hatem Ben Arfa would begin the deception by mis-striking a Panenka that Badiashile saved. He would be followed by Zeffane and Da Silva who will miss their shots as well. On the Monegasque side, the first miss came from Yuri Tielemans, followed by Glik, then Naldo.

At 7-7, it was time for the goalkeepers to shoot. Koubek would send his strike flying over the cross-bar, leaving Badiashile the opportunity to be the match’s hero. Loïc Badiashile did not disappoint, beating an outstretched Koubek to send Monaco to their third Coupe de la Ligue semifinal in a row.

Monaco will seek to channel the energy and excitement from this match into their upcoming Ligue 1 encounter with Olympique Marseille this weekend.