PARIS (AP) — Saint-Etienne remains on course for a spot in the Europa League after winning 1-0 away to Montpellier on Friday.
Romain Hamouma scored the only goal in the 10th minute after being set up by fellow winger Remy Cabella's neat pass against his former club.
It has been a remarkable turnaround for fifth-place Saint-Etienne, which struggled in the first half of the season but is now unbeaten in 13 league games. Saint-Etienne is two points ahead of Nice, which can reclaim fifth spot by winning at Strasbourg on Saturday.
Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier saved a penalty from Giovanni Sio on the stroke of halftime, kicking the ball away as the striker shot down the middle.
Ruffier then made a stunning finger-tip save to tip over South African forward Keagan Dolly's strike in the 61st, either side of Cabella having a shot saved.
Montpellier midfielder Ellyes Skhiri's deflected strike hit the post near the end.
The defeat leaves Montpellier in eighth place and six points behind Saint-Etienne.
On Saturday, third-place Lyon is at home to Nantes. On Sunday, fourth-place Marseille goes to Angers and French champion Paris Saint-Germain hosts Guingamp.
PSG coach Unai Emery announced Friday that he is leaving the club at the end of the season.
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