Brest, Montpellier and Nantes reach last 16 of French Cup

PARIS (AP) — First division teams Brest, Montpellier and Nantes advanced to the last 16 of the French Cup on Sunday, while 2019 champion Rennes lost to second-tier Nancy on penalty kicks.

Nancy, which launched the career of France great Michel Platini, won 4-3 in the shootout after a 1-1 draw. The 19-year-old Belgium forward Jeremy Doku put Rennes ahead in the 58th minute and Mickael Biron equalized 20 minutes later.

Second-tier Bastia, the 1981 champion when Cameroon star Roger Milla scored in the final, beat top-tier Clermont 2-0. Clermont was promoted last year but is struggling.

Midfielder Ludovic Blas and forward Willem Geubbels scored for Nantes in a 2-0 home win against fourth-tier Vitre. Brest beat Bordeaux 3-0 and Montpellier downed Strasbourg 1-0 in all-first division contests.

Second division Toulouse scraped a 1-0 win at fifth-tier Cannes, which was once a regular in the top flight and won the Cup in 1932.

Fourth-tier Versailles advanced with a 4-0 win against fifth-tier La Roche-sur-Yon, and fourth-tier Bergerac won 5-4 on penalty kicks against third-tier Creteil after a 0-0 draw.

In later matches Sunday, last year’s runner-up Monaco was at second-tier Quevilly-Rouen and 10-time winner Marseille played at fifth-tier Chauvigny. Marseille last won the competition in 1989 and has lost three finals since.

Monaco said Saturday that seven players had COVID-19 but none showed any worrying signs and are isolating.

French clubs are back playing for the first time in 1 1/2 weeks, a break which allowed players to go home or on holiday.

Holder Paris Saint-Germain will be without star forward Lionel Messi, left back Juan Bernat, backup goalkeeper Sergio Rico and midfielder Nathan Bitumazala for Monday’s French Cup match at third-tier Vannes.

They all tested positive for the coronavirus with Messi recovering in Argentina.

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