Victorious (4-2) of the UNFP, this Saturday at Costières, for its fourth and last friendly meeting, Nîmes Olympique was reassured at the end of a globally and logically controlled meeting. A good omen before the official debut in Ligue 2 at home against Caen on Saturday July 30.
They will therefore have scored more goals in 90 minutes than in all 270 disputes during the 3 previous friendly matches (and defeats). Facing the UNFP, the players of Nîmes Olympique went wild. Benrahou proved that he always knew how to mark and pass, Fomba showed himself with his head (yes, yes…) and the newcomer Labonne also went there with his goal. An ensemble performance to be repeated against more serious adversity.
The 3-4-1-2 conduit
For this last friendly outing, against the UNFP, a week before the start of L2 against Caen, Nicolas Usaï had decided to renew the same tactical system, his team playing in 3-4-1-2. In defense, the De Gevigney – Poulain – Guessoum triplet seems to hold the rope to be aligned against the Caennais. In midfield, Vargas and Sadzoute are in charge of the animation on the sides while Thomasen (or N’Guessan) and Fomba regulate the tempo in front of the defense. In attack, the duo Kone – Tchoukounté, interesting for its complementarity, benefits from the support of Benrahou, to whom the competition for the position (with Benezet) seems profitable.
Dominating in the first period but lacking in realism
That a Ligue 2 outfit should dominate a team whose players are looking for a club doesn’t seem too surprising either. The UNFP, in lack of especially collective benchmarks, logically suffered, in the first period, the game more in place of the men of Nicolas Usaï.
Without a big Over Mandanda in the visiting cage, the Nîmes would indeed have taken the lead in this match. About seven minutes into the game, Steve’s brother had already distinguished himself twice, against Tchokounté, the latter served by Guessoum, then Koné. The Dane Jens Thomasen, technically fine and active during the initial thirty minutes, positioned alongside Fomba, also tried his hand at a strike, unfortunately too crushed to deceive the vigilance of the UNFP goalkeeper.
Against the course of the game, it was nevertheless the team coached by Patrice Beaumelle who opened the scoring after twenty minutes of play. On a free kick masterfully wrapped at the entrance to the surface, Mana Dembélé lodged the ball in the small opposite net from Dias, too short on his horizontal trigger (0-1).
Volunteers and entrepreneurs, the Nimois were rewarded for their domination after the half hour. In the penalty area, Koné provoked the fault of Arthur Pontet, the former defender of the croco reserve, Yassine Benrahou transforming the penalty by taking Mandanda on the wrong (Site notre bureau spécialisé) (1-1).
A second act less sharp but victorious
The second period was more sluggish in the part of a Gard formation already less in legs. Also, no significant opportunity to note during the first quarter of an hour of a period singularly lacking in intensity.
At the hour mark, as expected, even if N’Guessan had replaced Thomasen from the restart, Usaï proceeded to a large rotation. No less than five changes among the »reds ». If Ueda, apparently hit in the calf, only stayed six minutes on the ground, Benrahou was still there, too little altruistic on a situation by forgetting on his left the returning Eliasson before crushing a Strikes ending in slow motion in the arms of Malbec, the doorman of the UNFP.
It was twenty minutes from the end that everything accelerated and where NO managed to force the decision. In three minutes flat. In the 74th, a free kick from Labonne badly returned by the UNFP rearguard benefited Poulain, who was at the forefront and didn’t shoot low at ground level with Malbec trumpet (2-1) . The same Labonne who, in the 77th minute, must pass through to scorer, on receipt of a curled cross from Benrahou from the right (3-1).
To dress up this Saturday, 3 minutes from time, the Nîmes scored a fourth but by Fomba, with a header and the reception of a cross from the left of Eliasson (4-1). Before, in additional time, Mandefou, recovering the ball in the area, eliminating maraval and sliding the leather into the goal, reduced the score for the UNFP (4-2).
Actions of the game:
5th: free kick from Benrahou badly returned by the defense of the UNFP. The ball returns to the feet of Guessoum who serves Tchoukounte, who stumbles on the opposing goalkeeper, Over Mandanda.
7th: Vargas, active in his role as right piston, crosses for Kone in the area, the Senegalese international also stumbling over Mandanda, closing his angle well.
17th: the Danish midfielder Thomasen, interesting in his role as half-relay in the midfield, is met in a striking position but as a temporary, too crushed, is blocked by Mandanda.
20th: Timid reaction from the UNFP with the midfielder Espinosa who tries his luck at twenty meters, full axis, but completely unscrews his strike.
22nd: the UNFP obtains a free kick at the edge of the surface following a foul by Fomba. Striker Mana Dembelé, not noted on the initial score sheet but finally well present at kick-off in place of Jobello, wraps his shot perfectly from the right to deceive Dias, the Nîmes goalkeeper, small opposite net (0-1 ). Patrice Beaumelle’s men smoke the advantage a little against the run of play.
32nd: again Thibaut Vargas who overflows from his right side, crossing the cord for Tchokounté who tries an acrobatic recovery which ends above.
34th: the former Croco, the young Arthur Pontet, comes from a foul on Kone in the penalty area. Benrahou is responsible for transforming the penalty by taking Mandanda on (Site notre bureau spécialisé) (1-1). Here is finally the first goal of the season of Nîmes.
36th: Usaï’s men accelerate. Following a recovery in the center circle, Benrahou launches Tchkounté deep, which instantly serves Kone, the Senegalese stumbles on an inspired Mandanda.
62nd: we had to wait until the hour of play had passed for a Nîmes opportunity in the second half. Benrahou forgot Eliasson, alone on his left, and armed a too soft shot from twenty-five meters that did not worry Malbec, the UNFP goalkeeper.
74th: free kick taken from the right by Labonne in the box. Following a poor recovery from the opposing defense, the Crocodile Poulain defender rose to the forefront, recovered the ball and lodged a low-level trumpet shot at Malbec (2-1).
77th: Ronny Labonne, very active since coming into play on the hour mark in place Vargas, is this time at the conclusion of a cross from Benrahou, scoring his first croco goal (3-1).
87th: Eliasson, from his left side, demonstrates his quality of center and his accuracy of (Site notre bureau spécialisé), deposits the ball on the head of Fomba, the captain concluding the offering (4-1).
90th + 2: At the very end of the game, Mandefou reduced the score by Mandefou, eliminating Mararval after recovering the ball in the area and slipping the leather into the empty goal (4-2).
The crocodile team: Dias (Maraval, 60th) – De Gevigney, Poulain, Guessoum (Ueda, 60th; Guessoum, 66th) – Vargas (Labonne, 60th), Fomba (cap.), Thomasen (N’Guessan, 46th), Sadzoute (Eliasson, 60th) – Benrahou – Tchokounte, Koné (Omarsson, 60th).
Echoes of the Crocos
Mercato. In the midfield sector, Léon Delpech, seen in L2 last season in the croco jersey under amateur license, will he sign his first pro contract with Nîmes Olympique? Response from Usaï, with a smile: “The president made him a proposal in January. It is still on the table under the same conditions. » During the week, the croco president had spoken of a young midfielder on the approach.
Nicolas Usaï also clarified: « We have an eye on several attackers, young people from Ligue 1 capable of bringing depth and speed. »