Neymar scores from spot, PSG in French League Cup semis
PARIS (AP) — Neymar scored from the spot as holder Paris Saint-Germain secured a scrappy 2-0 win at 10-man Amiens to advance to the French League Cup semifinals on Wednesday.
Amiens played for nearly an hour with 10 men after goalkeeper Regis Gurtner was sent off in the 34th minute for a clumsy tackle on Kylian Mbappe outside the penalty area.
In the absence of striker Edinson Cavani, who was left out of Unai Emery’s squad after returning late from his holidays, PSG dominated but struggled to find an edge.
The visitors finally broke the deadlock in the second half after Neymar was fouled in the box by Amiens skipper Thomas Monconduit. The Brazil star scored his 20th goal in all competitions by sending reserve goalkeeper Jean-Christophe Bouet the wrong way.
PSG was in control afterward and Adrien Rabiot made it 2-0 with a header with 12 minutes left. It took referee Nicolas Rainville about a minute to confirm the goal, though, after another glitch in the goal line technology.
Rainville said his watch, which normally vibrates to indicate a goal, did not work, and he had to consult with video assistant referees to validate the goal.
The French league said last month it wants improvements after expressing “dissatisfaction with the failures” in several matches with GoalControl, the company responsible for the technology.
PSG is chasing a fifth consecutive League Cup title and will next travel to Rennes, whose substitute Adrien Hunou scored two late goals in a hard-fought 4-2 win over Toulouse.
Hunou, who replaced former France international Yoann Gourcuff with only eight minutes left, made it 3-2 in the 86th minute from close range and sealed the hosts’ victory in stoppage time from a tight angle.
Before Hunou took over the scoring responsibilities, Rennes had twice failed to hold on to its lead.
Rennes is chasing a first major trophy since winning the French Cup in 1971.
Montpellier also secured a berth in the semifinals with a 1-0 win at Angers, courtesy of Isaac Mbenza’s late goal. It next plays Monaco, which qualified for the semifinals on Tuesday with a 2-1 win at local rival Nice.