Two-time French Cup winners Rennes reached the final of this season’s competition with a nervy 3-2 win over Ligue 2 side Angers on Tuesday.
Rennes, who won the Cup in 1965 and 1971, will hope for better luck in the final on May 3 than their last visit to the Stade de France in last season’s League Cup final where they lost 1-0 against Saint-Etienne.
Rennes — who are in a lowly 14th position in Ligue 1 — came from a goal down early on to lead 3-1 but a penalty a minute from time by Mohammed Yattara, who had also scored their opener, made it a nervous last few minutes for the Brittany-region hosts.
However, they safely negotiated the dying stages to deprive Angers of what would have been their second ever appearance in the final, the first occasion being in 1957 when they were beaten 6-3 by Toulouse.
Angers — who are in the mix for promotion to Ligue 1 — got off to a fantastic start as Yattara put them ahead in the third minute.
However, the hosts levelled on the quarter hour mark as Swedish international midfielder Ola Toivonen netted with his seventh goal since he arrived from PSV Eindhoven for 2.5million euros ($A3.6m) the January transfer window.
Two further goals from Polish midfielder Kamil Grosicki and Cameroon veteran Jean II Makoun put Rennes firmly in control and apart from Yattara’s late penalty they were rarely troubled by Angers down the stretch.
Rennes — coached by Philippe Montanier who has found life difficult in his first season since joining from Spanish side Real Sociedad where he had been named La Liga coach of the year — will play the winners of the second semi-final between Ligue 1 title contenders Monaco and struggling Guingamp.
“It is good to be in the final but the championship is our main preoccupation,” said 49-year-old Montanier.
“If we can quickly assure ourselves of staying up and win the French Cup that will be a good result for a transitional season.”