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The two teams before kick-off (photoJMD/Sports 5962)

It was already the 2nd day of Ligue 2 in this first weekend of August. After the draw (0-0) obtained in Bordeaux, Le VAFC received Le Havre AC on Saturday evening at the Hainaut stadium. The local players win 1-0 after having resisted well in the 2nd period.

It was the traditional atmosphere of summer environments in Valenciennes. The Venice of the North was plunged into a certain torpor due to the holidays. Also, the forecourt of the Hainaut stadium was even quieter than usual. And it was almost in indifference that the two teams warmed up on the pool table at the Hainaut stadium. The stakes were not yet very strong between two formations which started with the same score (0-0) respectively against Grenoble and Bordeaux.

Two new coaches on the bench

The two clubs had at least one thing in common, with two new coaches. Former VAFC Deputy Nicolas Rabuel on the Valenciennes bench. The Franco-Slovenian Luka Elsner, who led Amiens then Courtrai in recent seasons, on the side of the HAC. For this northern-Norman duel, Rabuel renewed almost the same starting lineup as in Gironde. With one major exception: Mathieu Debuchyinjured, was replaced by Eric Vandenabeele. Joffrey Cuffaut assumed the captaincy. The former mastiff suffers from a calf injury.

The Valenciennes warming up (photo JMD/SPORTS 5962)

The traditional round of observation between two adversaries close in level did not last very long. From the 13th minute, Allan Linguet center of the right. Ilye Hamachecompletely alone at the far post, calmly shoots low and adjusts the Le Havre goalkeeper Arthur Desmas (1-0). This is the first goal of the season for Valenciennes.

It was not until the 25th minute to see the Normans react, on a sequence with two shots repelled by Eric Vandenabeele in the Valencia area. Despite the low attendance, the kop still manages to create a bit of atmosphere. A kop that displays this banner: » 15 starts. Eddy, the next one is yours. » This of course to the address of the President Eddy Zdiech.

The Valenciennes supporters still suffered a great fright when Jamal Thiarecompletely alone at the far post, puts his head shot into the side netting (34th). Nassim Innocenti replaced Quentin Lecoeucheinjured half an hour into the game.

Despite a last chance to Aymen Boutoutaou saved by Desmas, the score remains there at rest (1-0).

The HAC pushes but VAFC holds firm

The 2nd half starts badly for VA which loses two players. Floyd Ayite is replaced after the rest by Florian Martin. At the 58th minute, Mathis Picouleau supplement Mohammad Kaba, hit in a shock. Shortly after this change, Gautier Larsonneur pulls off a nice parry on a shot from Joshua Casimir (59th).

Overall, the Valenciennes seem to be controlling the score well, even if possession of the ball is clearly to the advantage of the visitors. Le Havre who offer themselves a new opportunity with a shot from the head of El Hajjam next (84th). A leaping opportunity Luka Elsner. The Le Havre coach will point out at a press conference that his players have entered the 22m Valenciennes 40 times, without materializing.

The Normans remain dangerous until the end. But well supported by their public, the Northerners resist during additional time (+4). The VAFC finally won 1-0 over Le Havre, in front of a delighted audience. Players and supporters will also celebrate this victory with a clapping. The reunion with Stade du Hainaut is a success.

The game sheet

VAFC – Le Havre: 1-0 (1-0) 2nd day of Ligue 2

Hainaut Stadium, Valenciennes. 4,657 spectators

Referee: Mr. Perreau-Niel

Goals: Hamache (13′) for Valenciennes

Warnings: Masson (33′), Larsonneur (88′) for Valenciennes

VAFC : Larsonneur – Linguet, Vandenabeele, Cuffaut (c.), Lecoeuche (Innocenti, 30′) – Masson, Kaba – Ayité (Martin, 46′), Boutoutaou, Hamache – Bonnet

Substitutes : Sy (left), Rabuel, Innocenti, Picouleau, El Amri, Martin, Zinga

Coach: Nicolas Rabuel

LE HAVRE : Desmas – El Hajjam (Kumbédi, 85′), Sanganté, Lloris, Opéri-Richardson (Kechta, 68′), Lekhal (c.), Ba (Kitala, 75′) – Casimir (Mahmoud, 68′), Thiaré, Alioui

Substitutes : Gorgelin (left), Kumbédi, Moussadek, Kechta, Ngoura, Mahmoud, Kitala

Coach: Luka Elsner

Nicolas Rabuel at a press conference (photo JMD/Sports 5962)

Reactions after VAFC-Le Havre

Nicolas Rabuel, VAFC coach. ” It gives pleasure this victory snatched at the end of the end. We suffered in the game. It was very important to unblock the meter at home. The victory makes it possible to create a link with the public, it is also what we wanted. We worked well in pre-season, but there is also the quality of the opponent tonight, they held the ball very well. Our situations are on offensive transitions. We have a few situations to go to +2, but we will have to have more control in the future. »

Luka Elsner, HAC coach.My reaction is not frustration, it is rage. I’m very tense because I can’t stand seeing matches like this. There is a non-match from us in the first half. There was no intensity in the recovery of the ball, the goal is witness … I do not like to lose that way. We have to choose to be constantly very high in the towers. Differences must be made. I find it difficult to be very positive because we lost the match. We shoot twenty times, we only frame one strike. »

Ugo Bonnet, VAFC centre-forward.We didn’t push too hard today, we defended a lot and we did it well. As they say, the attacker is the first defender, I have this role to play. It’s frustrating sometimes to make efforts and lack lucidity afterwards. But that’s the job, you have to do it. The objective is to have three points at the end of the match. If we have to do it thirty-eight times, we will do it thirty-eight times.

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