Goodbye Toulouse, Rouen stun French holders with marathon penalty shootout win

January 22 – French Cup holders Toulouse experienced an unexpected exit as third-tier Rouen triumphed in a dramatic penalty shootout. All 11 players from each team successfully converted their spot-kicks, culminating in a thrilling 23 out of 24 kicks scored. 

The shootout intensity reached its peak when Gabriel Suazo hit the post with his second attempt, allowing Abdeljalil Sahloune to net the decisive kick, setting up a last-16 clash with Monaco.

This shootout followed a 3-3 draw in Rouen, where Toulouse narrowly avoided elimination in regular time. Rouen’s Omar Bezzekhami opened the scoring, swiftly equalized by Toulouse captain Vincent Sierro.

Yann Gboho’s volley gave Ligue 1 visitors the lead, but Rouen, promoted to the Championnat National last season, responded with Valentin Sanson’s penalty. Sofyane Bouzamoucha’s header put the underdogs in front again, only for Rasmus Nicolaisen’s injury-time goal to force the game into penalties.

Rouen’s cup journey won’t get any easier, as the side face a tough match against Ligue 1 giants AS Monaco in another David versus Goliath showdown.

Toulouse fans still the Europa League to look forward to and a match-up versus UCL dropouts Benfica to determine who progresses to the Round of 16. The team has enjoyed a good spell in Europe, headlined by a victory over Liverpool during the group stage.

In another French Cup upset, Saint-Priest from the fifth tier advanced to the last 16 by defeating fourth-division Romorantin 4-1. Their next challenge awaits against Ligue 2 Valenciennes in the upcoming round.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1713305474labto1713305474ofdlr1713305474owedi1713305474sni@g1713305474niwe.1713305474yrrah1713305474