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Benjani bangs in

ZIMBABWE international Benjani Mwaruwaru was on target as AJ Auxerre scored twice in two minutes to earn a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Paris St Germain and reach the French Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.

FONT face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The Parisians, winners of the trophy last year, were 2-0 ahead after captain Jose Pierre-Fanfan opened the scoring in the second minute and striker Reinaldo found the net in the 23rd.

The Burgundy side, who have not lost to PSG in a Cup match since 1996, managed to pull a goal back through Bonaventure Kalou on the half-hour mark.

But PSG still seemed set to progress until Auxerre strikers Benjani and Kanga Akale scored a goal apiece in the 77th and 78th minutes to overturn the score and decide the match.

PSG goalkeeper Jerome Alonso saved a penalty by Benjani in injury time but the outcome looked to have been decided by then.

The result means Auxerre, who lifted the Cup in 2003 by beating PSG in the final, dashed the Paris club’s hopes of a securing a place in Europe through a knockout competition.

PSG, already out of the League Cup and Champions League, are languishing in 12th place in the Ligue 1 standings and trail fifth-placed Auxerre, who occupy the last Uefa Cup qualifying place, by nine points with only 11 matches to play.

A far from impressive Monaco side had to wait for an extra-time winner by Javier Saviola to beat Stade Rennes 1-0.

The Argentina striker, who replaced David Gigliotti in the 71st minute, brilliantly volleyed home three minutes into the extra period to decide the outcome of a lacklustre match.

Rennes who had lost just twice at home all season — to champions Olympique Lyon and Lille — tried everything to equalise but squandered their best chance when defender Stephane M’Bia’s header was saved by Fabien Audard in the 117th minute.

“We must be happy with the outcome because Rennes played a pretty good match tonight,” said Monaco coach Didier Deschamps. — Reuter.

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