Ligue 2 side Istres beat Valenciennes 4-3 on penalties in the Coupe de France on Monday after a thrilling 3-3 draw at the end of extra time.
With the sides heading for a goalless draw, two late goals in regular time set up a tense extra period in which Istres surrendered a two-goal cushion.
Mathieu Dossevi headed Valenciennes ahead on 74 minutes after Anthony Le Tallec’s free-kick had struck the crossbar, but the home side found a deserved equaliser with two minutes left in regulation when Sid Ali Yahia Cherif completed a mesmerising run to score with the aid of the post.
The drama did not end there, with Istres’ 38-year-old former Algerian international Nassim Akrour netting twice in the space of a minute to put the hosts 3-1 ahead in extra time.
Akrour scored sweetly off his left foot from the edge of the box in the 102nd minute and looked to have sealed the Round-of-64 tie with a side-footed finish moments later.
But Valenciennes, intent on avoiding becoming the sixth Ligue 1 side to bow out of the competition, answered when substitute Vincent Aboubakar fired in an unstoppable volley before skipper Rudy Mater tied the scores at 3-3 from the penalty spot eight minutes from time.
Visiting goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau scored and saved a spot kick during penalties but it was not enough to prevent Driss Fetouhi netting the winning spot-kick for the Ligue 2 side.