PARIS: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a typically brilliant goal as Paris Saint-Germain beat Lorient 1-0 away in a French Cup semifinals on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).
The Cup holders and Ligue 1 champions will now face either second tier Sochaux or arch rivals Marseille in the finals.
The Parisians are bidding for a second successive clean sweep of the domestic honors in France and face Lille in the League Cup final this weekend.
Ibrahimovic picked up the ball from a Di Maria pass and ran straight at goal from 40 yards out before curling a shot with the outside of his right boot around Lorient goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte from the edge of the area.
Everyone had been expecting the Swede to pass but instead he racked up a 43rd goal in all competitions this season.
Ligue 1’s 11th placed side Lorient had put up little to worry the Parisians until then but second string keeper Salvatore Sirigu made a crucial late save when called upon.
Both Ibrahimovic and strike partner Edinson Cavani went close as PSG peppered the Lorient goal in the first half after coach Laurent Blanc had put out a strong side.
PSG midfielder Blasie Matuidi deflected suggestions it had been a close game saying his side had always been comfortable.
“We’re in the final for the second year running, two finals for the second year running in fact. That was the objective and we did it. We were not great and neither was the pitch but we did the necessary,” he told French television.
PSG became the first team to bow out of the Champions League at the quarterfinals stage for four years in a row when they were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Manchester City last week.
Marseille, who fired coach Michel on Tuesday, have the chance to put a silver lining on an otherwise woeful campaign when they go to second-tier Sochaux in the second semifinals on Wednesday.
OM slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Monaco on Sunday night as their winless run in the league extended to 10 matches.
Michel has been replaced until the end of the season by his assistant Franck Passi, who will be helped by club legend Basile Boli, recently working as an ambassador for the club.
Sochaux have picked up some big scalps this season though in their run to the last four, having seen off Nantes in the quarterfinals and Monaco in the last 16.