By Aaron West
Needing a win against charging Marseille to have any hope of securing a place in the UEFA Europa League (formerly called the UEFA Cup), Carlos Bocanegra and his Rennes side were comprehensively defeated by the south coast club.
With both sides highly motivated through European aspirations and the title chase, the match was poised to be a heated battle. The Marseillais club had its sights set on league leaders Bordeaux, while Rennes had aspirations of securing fifth place and a spot in the Europa League.
The first half was a muted affair, with neither team willing to commit too many players forward, leaving them vulnerable at the back. However, just seven minutes into the second half, Marseille struck through Ivorian Bakari Koné after being slipped through by Benoit Cheyrou. With that strike, the floodgates opened for Marseille, and the home side went up 3-0 over the next seven minutes.
With their European hopes basically finished, the hapless Brittany club conceded one last goal to Mamadou Niang in the 71st minute, and the match finished 4-0. Despite the emphatic win, Bordeaux’s 1-0 victory over Caen assured them the league title, forcing Marseille to settle as runners-up.
Carlos Bocanegra, Rennes (France)
Away to Marseille, 0-4, 90 minutes
Benny Feilhaber played the full 90 minutes for AGF Aarhus against Vejle in the final match of the season, but was unable to keep his side from falling 2-1 to the relegation-destined side. Jeremiah White was unable to play in the match due to injury.
Michael Parkhurst played the full 90 in FC Nordsjælland’s 2-2 draw with Aalborg, helping condemn the Danish giants to 11 games on the trot without victory. Marcus Tracy was taken ill in the days before the game, and was unable to suit up for AaB in the last game of the season.
Danny Califf played the full 90 and rounded out the scoring for FC Midtjylland as they defeated Brondby IF 4-2 to complete the season for the summer.
Charlie Davies returned to the U.S. for training camp, and as such, was unavailable for Hammarby’s last matches. In addition, the young striker has drawn attention from French Ligue 1 side Sochaux following his strong performances in Sweden.
Jozy Altidore was not included in the squad for Xerez’s 3-0 win over Eibar as he trains with the U.S. for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
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Aaron West's feature "Americans On The Continent" appears every Monday on Goal.com.