Falcao scores 2 to send Monaco back into League Cup final
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 01, 2018 08:48 AM
Monaco's Keita Balde, center, celebrates with Radamel Falcao, left, and Djibril Sidibe after scoring during the League One soccer match between Marseille and Monaco, at the Velodrome Stadium, in Marseille, southern France, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
PARIS (AP) — First-half goals from Radamel Falcao sent Monaco back into the League Cup final after a 2-0 home win against Montpellier on Wednesday.
Monaco will play Paris Saint-Germain on March 31 in a repeat of last year's final, which PSG won 4-1 for a fourth straight League Cup title.
Monaco had a first-half penalty overruled and a second-half strike from midfielder Rony Lopes disallowed on Wednesday after both were referred to the Video Assistant Referee. Montpellier wasted a couple of chances in the first half but otherwise showed scant attacking intent.
Falcao reacted with great awareness and nimble footwork to fire Monaco ahead in the 15th minute. Collecting a pass from defender Djibril Sidibe, he let the ball roll onto his foot, deftly flicked it up toward knee height and then swiveled to volley a shot into the bottom left corner.
The Colombia striker made it 22 goals in all competitions when he tapped in at the back post after a firm cross from the dynamic Lopes in the 29th.
Prior to that, Monaco was given a penalty in the 17th when forward Steven Jovetic tumbled under a challenge from goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte. But the penalty was withdrawn after referee Amaury Deleru referred it to the VAR. Images showed Lecomte touching the ball with his arm before connecting with Jovetic's leg.
Lopes thought he had made it 3-0 in the 65th, finishing confidently after Falcao's cut-back from the left flank. But the VAR review disallowed it — once again correctly — because Falcao was marginally offside when receiving a pass before peeling away to set up his teammate.
PSG won 3-2 away to Rennes in Tuesday's semifinal, where the VAR was used three times. Each side had a goal disallowed and PSG forward Kylian Mbappe was sent off.