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Saint-Etienne earns promotion to the French first division after scoring late extra-time goal

METZ, France (AP) — Saint-Etienne drew 2-2 at 10-man Metz to win promotion back to the French first division on Sunday, with substitute Ibrahima Wadji scoring the decisive goal deep into extra time for a 4-3 aggregate score.

Both legs of the relegation-promotion playoff finished 2-1 to the home side in regular time, triggering extra time at Stade Saint-Symphorien with the aggregate score at 3-3.

The 19-year-old Wadji picked a good time to net his first goal of the season when he struck in the 117th minute of the second leg against Metz, which played with 10 men from the seventh minute. Metz striker Papa Amadou Diallo was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on defender Dennis Appiah.

Despite this, Metz raced into a 2-0 lead inside 25 minutes through midfielder Lamine Camara and prolific Georgia forward Georges Mikautadze, who took his tally to 14 goals in 22 games this season after returning on loan from Dutch side Ajax.

Mikautadze's 23 league goals helped Metz gain promotion to the top flight last season, and his future looks likely to take him away from Metz.

Defender Léo Pétrot scored in the the 35th minute for 10-time French champion Saint-Etienne, which was relegated to the second division two seasons ago.

There were tensions after the game as Saint-Etienne players celebrated and stewards tried to lead them away from the field. One steward fell to the ground after appearing to grab a Saint-Etienne player around the neck and being pushed away by him.

Brief shoving ensued as other Saint-Etienne players came over to join their teammate, while online images showed fans throwing drinks over Saint-Etienne players. ___

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer