Troyes wins play-off to earn Ligue 1 promotion; Lorient relegated
Welcome back to Ligue 1, Troyes.
After a one-year hiatus, Jean-Louis Garcia's side is returning to the top flight thanks to a 2-1 aggregate victory over Lorient in France's promotion/relegation play-off.
Troyes, which finished third in Ligue 2 this season, officially booked its ticket with Sunday's goalless draw in Brittany against a Lorient team that endured a miserable campaign en route to finishing 18th in Ligue 1.
But while the encounter at the Stade du Moustoir was the clincher, it was a 2-1 triumph from the first leg earlier this week - procured through a 91st-minute thunderbolt from 40-year-old Benjamin Nivet - that made the difference.
"Even if I think he's tired, that's why I don't take him off. I know he can produce something special at any moment," Garcia said of his veteran captain after that first match.
"I think he will end up having a statue dedicated to him!"
He just might.
While Troyes will be celebrating long into the evening, Lorient will be left to rue its steady decline to the basement of Ligue 1; relegation to the second tier means next season will be the first since 2005-06 that Les Merlus have not been in the first division.
Back-to-back eighth place finishes in 2013 and 2014 have given way to a slide down the table in recent years, culminating with relegation.