Paris Saint-Germain’s celebrates with their trophy after winning the French Cup 2017 Final soccer match, between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Angers at Stade de France in Saint Denis, north of Paris, France, Saturday, May 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
SAMUEL PETREQUIN, AP Sports Writer
PARIS (AP) — Wrapping up a season during which it failed to achieve its two major goals, it was fitting that Paris Saint-Germain won the French Cup thanks to an own goal in added time.
PSG, which relinquished its league title to Monaco and was eliminated from the Champions League in the last 16, ended a mediocre campaign on a high note by winning the cup with a scrappy 1-0 win over Angers on Saturday.
PSG dominated but needed an own goal from Angers right back Issa Cissokho to prevail at the Stade de France.
PSG claimed its 11th French Cup, its third in a row, to surpass Marseille as the club with the most cups.
As the 100th final entered added time, Cissokho looked hampered by Blaise Matuidi’s pressing at the near post and headed the ball into his own net with the back of his head from a corner hit by Angel Di Maria.
PSG finished the season with two trophies, having already won the League Cup in coach Unai Emery’s first season in charge.
“We learned from everything, and we will learn from that season which was a bit difficult,” PSG defender Serge Aurier said.
Amid rumors in the French press he could be replaced during the summer, Emery said he intends to fulfil the final year on his contract.
“I am happy here. This team can grow,” Emery said.
Angers, which played in its first final in 60 years, failed in its bid to win a first major trophy.
With PSG already qualified for next season’s Champions League, the remaining Europa League went to Bordeaux, which finished sixth in the French league.
PSG monopolized the ball from the start but Angers goalkeeper Alexandre Letellier ensured his side stayed in the contest with decisive saves.
Letellier pushed away a dangerous cross from Serge Aurier, then saved a flick from Matuidi from close range, and stopped a header from Edinson Cavani. After Di Maria set up Cavani with a through ball in the back of the defense, Letellier dived to block the striker’s shot.
Playing on the break, Angers had the best chance of the match when Nicolas Pepe unleashed a 20-meter striker that hit the base of Alphonse Areola’s post while the PSG keeper looked well beaten.
Di Maria was PSG’s best player and a threat throughout the game with his acceleration, fine dribbles, and accurate passes. The attacking midfielder found Aurier on the right side of the box at the stroke of halftime but his teammate missed the target.
After the interval, Matuidi came close to breaking the deadlock, only for the Angers ‘keeper to parry the effort.
Fatigue took a toll on Angers after an hour but its defense stayed poised to resist PSG’s onslaught in the final 10 minutes until Cissokho’s own goal in the last action of the game.
“It’s sad but that’s life,” Angers captain Cheikh Ndoye said. “I don’t know if we’ll get the chance to play another final. We had a beautiful generation (of players). Football is so cruel.”
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