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Valenciennes keeps safety hopes alive

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 15, 2014 at 6:14 pm •  Published: March 15, 2014

PARIS (AP) — Valenciennes and Sochaux kept their safety hopes alive by beating respectively Evian 1-0 and Lorient 2-0 in the French league on Saturday.

Valenciennes striker Majeed Waris converted a rebound in the 62nd minute to help his team pull within two points of Evian, in the 17th and safe place.

"One day ago, we were dead," Valenciennes coach Ariel Jacobs said. "It's nice to win against a direct rival, to keep a clean sheet and to earn a second straight win. But the ultimate goal is to get 40 points."

It has 28.

In Sochaux, midfielder Roy Contout fired home a low diagonal strike in the seventh before defender Stoppila Sunzu doubled the lead with a header in the 79th. Sochaux remained in 19th, five points behind Evian.

"It's certainly the gods of football who are a bit with us," Sochaux coach Herve Renard said. "For a long time they were against us because we didn't do the things we needed to do. There are signs that lead me to say that things are changing."

Meanwhile, third-place Lille performed poorly in splitting the points with lowly Nantes from a goalless draw.

Lille striker Nolan Roux nearly scored an own goal in the 51st by hitting the bar with an awkward clearance.

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