French Club Earns Promotion With Last-Minute PK Save And Last-Second Bicycle Kick

A promotion/relegation playoff between Le Mans (third-place finishers in the Championnat National, France’s third division) and Gazélec Ajaccio (18th-place in Ligue 2, France’s second division) was decided in the most extraordinary of circumstances on Sunday. 

The first leg, played at MMArena in Le Mans last Friday, finished 2-1 in favor of Gazélec. Accordingly, the Ligue 2 side was heavily favored to retain its division two status ahead of today’s return leg at Stade Ange Casanova.

However, in the 73rd minute, Rémy Boissier gave Le Mans hope with a goal. The aggregate score now stood at 2-2, but Gazélec would remain in Ligue 2 by virtue of away goals as things stood.  

Then, in the third minute of second half stoppage time, Gazélec had the chance to absolutely bury Le Mans after being awarded a penalty.  

But Le Mans goalkeeper Nicolas Kocik saved it, setting the stage for the most unlikely of winners in 97th minute. Don’t forget that this goal from Mamadou Soro Nanga promotes Le Mans to Ligue 2 while Gazélec is immediately relegated to the Championnat National.   

And it’s the last kick of the match . . . a few minutes after an all-important penalty save. 

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