By defeating Cannes and Cavaillon on Sunday in their final two play-off matches, Olympique de Marseille confirmed their promotion to the DH Challenger division. Two stars of the day, tell us, in their own words, how it all happened...
1st match of the day: OM 1-1 (6-5 pens.) Cannes, by Angéline Guillemard
"In this second play-off match, we were taking on Cannes la Bocca, provisional leaders of our mini-championship. We started the match better and really took it to Cannes, who despite being on the back foot, showed glimpses of their quality going forward.
There were numerous goal-scoring chances at the start of the game and we didn't put away the ones that fell our way, despite a goal to Camille Perrin, ruled out for handball. In the 14th minute, I scored from a Cécilia Vignal assist. We thought the goal was going to set us on our way, but it remained 1-0 until half time.
The second half was the opposite. Cannes took control of the ball and forced us back. Our clearances weren't finding teammates, the tension was rising and in the end, the pressure told as we conceded a penalty after a foul by Coralie Chevalier on the left of the penalty box. The goal was a real boost for Cannes and really took the stuffing out of us. They came in wave after wave and only Manon Dantin kept us in the game thanks to a fantastic double save. It ended 1-1. And so penalties were needed to separate the two sides. We really needed to pick ourselves up and forget the second half.
Cannes won the toss and took the first penalty. The stress was palpable. After the first five for each team, everyone had scored (OM penalties: Jenna Berrahou, Sarah Koutbi, Camille Perrin, Marta Garcia Reyes and me)
Now it was sudden death. Manon Dantin saved their sixth penalty. We could feel we were on the verge of victory... Laura Gouy still needed to score and she sent the 'keeper the wrong way. Thanks to this penalty, OM pocketed the two points and stayed in pole position ahead of taking on Bandol in the afternoon."
2nd match of the day: OM 3-1 Cavaillon, by Camille Perrin
"This match was absolutely critical because it determined the final standings and which teams would be promoted to DH Challenger. Victory was imperative. The opening exchanges were clearly in our favour and we attacked and attacked, and earned a corner at the end of an excellent, flowing team move. Cathy Abou Derra took the corner towards the near post where Marta Garcia-Reyes beat the 'keeper to it and flicked it on towards Angéline Guillemard for a simple finish.
We were right on top and added a second goal when Cécilia Vignal raced clear after more good team play and gave the 'keeper no chance for 2-0. For the first time in the play-offs, we led by two goals in the first half and we thought we could start to control the game. Unfortunately, Bandol reduced the difference just a few minutes later and when the ref's half-time whistle blew, it was 2-1 to us.
We could have started to doubt ourselves at the start of the second half, but Coralie Chevalier did brilliantly down the left before picking out a perfect cross for our captain Angéline Guillemard to side-foot volley home. We had further chances to score, but their 'keeper denied us a fourth goal. When the final whistle went, we could celebrate our deserved promotion that we've worked so hard for all year!
In the changing rooms, the team erupted! We were so happy for this young team and the coach who has put so much into the team. We congratulated him in the traditional manner as he went through the shower!