Historic Saint-Étienne Condemns Metz and Returns to Ligue 1

The historic Saint-Étienne has returned to the elite after two seasons in the ‘hell’ of Ligue 2. It has not been an easy journey for them. The second team with the most titles (10) in France – only behind PSG (12) – finished eighth last season. This season, they also couldn’t secure direct promotion. They finished third with 65 points, behind Angers and Auxerre, who were promoted to Ligue 1.

‘Les Verts’ had to rely on the playoffs. In the semifinals, they defeated Rodez 2-0 with goals from Cardona and Mbuku. However, the toughest part was yet to come: beating Metz, who finished second to last in Ligue 1, in the promotion final. And they did it. They won 2-1 in the first leg with goals from Ibrahim Sissoko and Cardona. Their lead was seriously threatened as Metz went 2-0 up in the second leg through Lamine Camara and Mikautadze. Pétrot equalized the tie just before halftime, forcing extra time.

In the 116th minute, right before penalties, Senegalese Ibrahima Wadji scored the decisive goal to make it 2-2. This goal ultimately allowed St.-Étienne to make their return to Ligue 1. Goodbye to the ‘hell’.