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Caen salute missing Sala in French Cup romp

Paris (AFP) – Caen ended the run of plucky sixth-tier amateurs Viry-Chatillon with a 6-0 rout in the last 32 of the French Cup on Wednesday, while Dijon thumped top-flight rivals Saint-Etienne 6-3 in the snow.

Viry-Chatillon had upended Ligue 1 outfit Angers in the previous round, but they were thrashed by Caen as Yacine Bammou and Saif-Eddine Khaoui were among the scorers on the outskirts of Paris.

An emotional Bammou raised his hands towards the sky after his early goal, in tribute to former Nantes team-mate Emiliano Sala whose plane disappeared over the Channel Islands on Monday as the striker was on his way to join his new club Cardiff City.

Caen coach Fabien Mercadal said Bammou had made clear his desire to be involved despite the tragic turn of events.

“We talked about it. What happened is not fair. He was a friend to Yacine, he was deeply affected. The worst thing for him would have been to not play,” said Mercadal.

A group of Caen supporters, for whom Sala spent the second half of the 2014-15 season on loan, also fastened a banner that read “Emiliano” to a fence surrounding the pitch.

Nantes’ Cup game against third-division side Entente Sannois Saint-Gratien has been postponed from Wednesday until Sunday.

Naim Sliti scored a hat-trick as relegation-threatened Dijon avenged last month’s league defeat by Saint-Etienne at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Jules Keita, Julio Tavares and Jordan Marie also found the net for the visitors as Dijon won for the first time under new boss Antoine Kombouare, while Rennes overcame fourth-division Saint-Pryve 2-0.

Holders Paris Saint-Germain host Strasbourg later on Wednesday at the Parc des Princes as they continue their bid for a fifth straight title in the competition.

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