Football | Penalty shootout success sees AS Monaco through to Coupe de France Round of 32

After more than two weeks off the pitch over the Christmas holidays, AS Monaco played their first game of 2024 against Racing Club de Lens at the Stade Bollaert on 7th January. 

It was a tricky match that had initially looked to be in the bag for the Monaco side, as they quickly edged two goals up. The first was a stunner from captain Wissam Ben Yedder, who found the back of the net after just 33 seconds. 20 minutes later came the second goal, this time from Maghnes Akliouche. 

Lens reduced the lead to 2-1 just before half-time, and returned from the changing rooms charged up with a series of attempts that eventually brought the northern French team success in the 62nd minute. The game remained 2-2 until the whistle blew.  

Ultimately, and with a place in the Round of 32 of the Coupe de France on the line, the game came down to penalties.  


After some very tense moments, the 700 Rouge et Blanc supporters who had made the trip to the Pas-de-Calais stadium could rejoice when Soungoutou Magassa scored with a blast into the top corner that sailed by Lens’ Brice Samba. He was the ninth AS Monaco player to take a penalty in what was a superb showing from both sides – and goalkeepers.  

Post-match, AS Monaco manager Adi Hütter told reporters, “Opposite us, there was a great team, very combative, and we knew that we were dealing with a team worthy of the Champions League… I have also never seen a penalty shootout like this, with a lot of misses, but also a lot of saves. I would like to congratulate Radoslaw Majecki, but also Brice Samba, they both had a good match. We will now return to Monaco, with good energy.” 

The win, which is AS Monaco’s fifth consecutive victory against Lens, puts the team through to the Round of 32 of the Coupe de France. It is also the 11th consecutive win of the team’s first game of the year since 2013! 

AS Monaco next face Stade de Reims on 13th January at home in the Stade Louis II.  


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Photo credit: AS Monaco Football