Moses Simon’s Nantes retain Ligue 1 status despite Toulouse defeat

The Super Eagle star’s team will remain in the French elite division for another season after edging Patrice Garande’s men on the away goal rule

Moses Simon’s Nantes will remain in Ligue 1 for another season despite losing 1-0 to Toulouse on Sunday evening.

Vakoun Bayo scored the only goal of the return leg of the relegation play-off, although that could not help Les Violets’ cause.

Having recorded a 2-1 first-leg victory at the Stadium de Toulouse and with the tie ending 2-2 on aggregate, they progressed on the away goal rule.

With this result, Nantes will play in the French elite division for a ninth consecutive season.

Both teams put up a fine showing, but the first half produced no goals. However, Nantes’ Dennis Appiah and Randal Kolo Muani were cautioned by referee Benoit Bastien for contrasting reasons.

Having in mind that anything short of a resounding victory would spell doom for them, the visiting team stepped up their game in the second half.

Their persistence paid off in the 62nd minute when Bayo put Patrice Garande’s men ahead

Left unmarked in the hosts’ penalty area, the Cote d’Ivoire international headed Amine Adli’s cross past a stranded goalkeeper Alban Lafont.

They pressed further for the all-important second goal but their attacking forays were halted by organised defending from Nantes.

Their ambition of increasing their lead suffered a massive blow in the 87th minute when they were reduced to ten men after Nathan N’Goumou was given his marching orders two minutes after his introduction.

The France youth international of Cameroonian and Gabonese descent was shown a straight red card for dangerous play against Cameroonian defender Jean-Charles Castelletto.

Benefitting from their opponents’ numerical disadvantage, Antoine Kombouare’s men held their nerves to retain their place in the French top flight.

While Ghana prospect Dennis Appiah, Castelletto and Mali’s Charles Traore were in action from start to finish, Nigeria international Simon was subbed off for Andrei Girotto with seven minutes left to play.

Also, Kalifa Coulibaly was handed a starter’s role but he was replaced by Marcus Regis Coco in the 65th minute.

Bayo, Cote d’Ivoire prospect Kelvin Adou, Kouadio Kone and French defender of Guinean background Bafode Diakite were on parade for Toulouse.