Marseille claim late point
Marseille defender Nicolas N'Koulou's 90th-minute equaliser denied struggling Sochaux a valuable win.
Last Updated: 29/03/14 7:06pm
Marseille defender Nicolas N'Koulou's 90th-minute equaliser denied struggling Sochaux a valuable win that would have helped move them closer to Evian in the last position of safety in the Ligue 1 standings.
Defender Stoppila Sunzu put Sochaux ahead in the 25th minute and the second-bottom side looked on course to claim their seventh league win of the season, but N'Koulou broke the hearts of the home crowd with the last-minute score as the game ended tied at 1-1.
The result leaves Sochaux still behind third-bottom Valenciennes, while Europe-chasing Marseille remained in sixth place.
The first chances of the game came for the home side when Edouard Butin found Julien Faussurier on the right, who dribbled past Marseille defender Jeremy Morel and crossed towards Jordan Ayew, who headed a few inches over the bar.
However, Sochaux did score on their next real attack through Sunzu, after Sebastien Roudet's corner found the defender in the box, where he curled in a shot with his left foot.
Marseille reacted and had a couple of chances before the break. First Mathieu Valbuena sent a curling 25-yard free-kick inches wide before midfielder Andre Ayew went close only for Sochaux keeper Yohann Pele to get in a block.
It meant the relegation-threatened home side took a slender lead into half-time, and they weathered an early storm from Marseille in the early stages of the second half when Pele saved an Andre-Pierre Gignac volley and stopped another Andre Ayew shot.
Nathan Sinkala tested Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda from distance at the other end in the 71st minute but a goal seemed to be coming for Marseille, with Pele blocking a strike by Florian Thauvin.
The goal finally arrived in the 90th minute through N'Koulou's header, which beat Pele at the second attempt after he punched clear a header from Lucas Mendes.