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Lille ease into French Cup last 16 to boost double hopes


Paris (AFP) – Ligue 1 leaders Lille eased into the French Cup last 16 on Sunday with a 3-1 victory at fourth-tier Gazelec Ajaccio.

Christophe Galtier’s men eased to a straightforward win, with Portuguese centre-back Xeka and the in-form Jonathan David both finding the net.

Lille, who lead Paris Saint-Germain by two points in the Ligue 1 title race, are bidding for a first major trophy since winning the league and cup double in 2011.

They kept their hopes of repeating that feat alive on Sunday despite naming a much-changed side.

Gazelec played in Ligue 1 in the 2015-16 season but have been relegated three times since.

But they did themselves no favours in their attempt to cause an upset, as Alexandre Durimel gave Lille the perfect start with a ninth-minute own goal.

The hosts stayed in the game until late on, but Xeka struck in the 73rd minute and Canadian international David, on as a substitute, scored his eighth goal in 13 games 11 minutes later.

Gazelec did manage to grab a consolation through David Pollet with three minutes remaining.

Elsewhere, Martinique club Franciscain’s run came to an end as they were thrashed 5-0 by Ligue 1 club Angers.

Chateaubriant booked a last-16 spot with a 2-1 win at fellow fourth-division club Romorantin.

Later on Sunday, Marseille play their final match before Jorge Sampaoli takes over as coach when they visit fourth-tier Chanet.

On Saturday, holders Paris Saint-Germain eased through with a 3-0 victory at Brest, while Lyon beat second-tier Sochaux 5-2.

Red Star, five-time winners of the competition now languishing in the French third tier, struck twice in the last seven minutes to eliminate top-flight Lens 3-2.

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