Renard leaves Zambia for France

Frenchman will manage a team in his home country for the first time after leaving 2012 African Champions for Sochaux.

    Renard leaves Zambia for France
    Renard guided Zambia to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations title before losing the crown this year [AFP]

    Herve Renard has left 2012 African champions Zambia and agreed to take over as coach of French Ligue 1 strugglers Sochaux as they bid to save their 66-year stay in the top division. 

    Renard, who has never coached a professional squad in France, led unheralded Zambia to their first continental trophy last year thanks to shock victories over favourites Ghana in the semi-final and then Ivory Coast on penalties in the final. 

    Zambia were eliminated in the group stage of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and failed to qualify for the continent's World Cup qualifying playoffs. 

    At Sochaux, Renard will take over from Eric Hely who resigned two weeks ago after a 5-1 defeat at promoted EA Guingamp. 

    Local media reported Renard has joined the club until the end of the season with an option for an additional season. 

    "Herve Renard, who just turned 45, will become the new Sochaux coach. He has left his coaching job at Zambia," the club said on their website on Monday. 

    Sochaux, whose 66 seasons at the top is a French record, are 19th in the 20-team table on five points from nine games following Sunday's 4-1 loss at Bordeaux. 

    PSG win

    Elsewhere on Sunday, 10-man Paris Saint-Germain beat fierce rivals Marseille 2-1 in a match featuring two penalties to go level on points with leaders Monaco. 

    PSG midfielder Thiago Motta was sent off in the 30th minute for kicking Mathieu Valbuena while attempting to clear the ball, and Marseille's Ghanaian winger Andre Ayew converted the penalty. 

    But Maxwell beat Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to the ball on the stroke of halftime to head in a cross from Gregory Van der Wiel for the equalizer. Zlatan Ibrahimovic then scored the winner from the penalty spot by sending Mandanda the wrong way in the 65th after Ayew had tripped PSG defender Marquinhos. 

    'Mental toughness made the difference tonight,' PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi said. "There's quality in our team, but there's a soul, too." 

    Lyon's poor start to the season continued with a 5-1 loss at Montpellier and Bordeaux moved three points clear of the relegation zone with their 4-1 win over Sochaux.


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