One week before the Loire festivities, the atmosphere is not very cheerful at the USO, after a series of defeats which placed this candidate for the rise in League 2 at the bottom of the National classification. Conversely, the Haut-Savoyards were miraculously saved last year by the neutralization of the descents due to the Covid and the lack of climbs of the amateur divisions (to the chagrin of Saint-Pryvé), and are marching on the water at the start of the season, leading the National. Crushed last year at La Source, but revenge in May in the return match, the Annecy players approached Friday night’s meeting with full confidence.
by Pierre Jozon
And from the 40th second a lost ball in the middle of the field offers a clear opportunity to the visitors. At the 12th minute, what was supposed to happen arrived: from a harmless touch, a shift and a cross on the line taken full force ended in the nets of Lhostis: 1-0 for Annecy.
Worse, from the 16th, a new lost ball, without apparent pressure, results in the same punishment, in an incompressible double penalty: 2-0 for the Savoyard chimney sweeps. The state of form of Orleans seems about as reassuring as that of the Lagardère group and the late “Matra Racing”.
The Orleans “relaunch train”: a jet engine
Under the jeers of a public exasperated by the lack of revolt of the local players, it was not until the 27th to see a reaction from Orleans, but the shot of Hicham Benkaid was countered.
In the 29th, a solitary raid provoked a penalty, transformed on an unstoppable counter-footing by Sangaré: 1-2, Orléans reduced the score. A head from Orleans found the crossbar in the 40th, but the referee signaled a curious offside.
The second half is choppy, and it is Annecy which misses the break at the penalty point in the 57th. And as often in sport, for not having known how to kill the match, Annecy cash the Orleans equalizer on the following corner, on a furious recovery from captain Saint-Ruf: 2-2!
Primary color: half-full green
The match goes crazy, the referee does not whistle anything, and Annecy still misses the inevitable after passing the Orleans goalkeeper, who miraculously recovers the ball in his arms, like Moses saved from the waters.
Better still, in the 70th, it takes a beautiful parade of the Savoyard porter to avoid a seizure of power by the locals. And again in the 79th, a cons roundly led sees Benkaid very close to spiking the ball into the alpine cage. Finally, on a long opening from Benkaid, Antoine, not yet returned to his form last year, is destabilized by the goal outside the area, before running into a defender.
In long stoppages (6 additional minutes), it is Lhostis who saves by winning his face to face. The draw does not reflect so badly this unbridled game, glass half full for the USO, coming back to avoid a new defeat at home, proud to have had the nerve to score against the leader with the force of the stud, but disappointed to lose two more points in its stadium and on its beautiful green lawn, the only one to hold its place. The long march towards the rise in League 2 promises to be as steep and risky as the first approaches and rumors about the legislative candidates of May 2022. While waiting for the white smoke of the first round, the green Primary.