Football: Barclays league division one-St Michel salvage a draw, LightStars run riot, Foresters claim a point


On the same day on Praslin, LightStars tore apart Northern Dynamos 7-0 while on La Digue Anse Reunion were held in a 2-2 draw by bottom club Foresters. On Friday, St Louis Suns returned to winning ways with a 4-1 victory over SMB.

Top-of-the-table clash

St Michel and La Passe put their unbeaten run at stake on Saturday. St Michel dominated proceedings despite missing marksman Philip Zialor for personal reasons and captain Godfrey Denis through suspension.

La Passe were happy to let St Michel do all the running as they tried to hit them on the counter.
In the fourth minute, St Michel should have opened the scoring. Malagasy Nestor Benahovy drilled a 40m free kick, which goalie Vincent Euphrasie spilled but Don Anacoura shot the rebound over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.

La Passe responded quickly from a long ball forward which St Michel defender Neddy Rose headed back to goalie Nelson Sopha. However, Achille Henriette sneaked in to fire at goal but the ball hit the advancing Sopha who was left in a daze.

St Michel opened the scoring in the 16th minute from an Anacoura corner which was cleared as far as Nelson Laurence on the edge of the penalty area. He volleyed the ball home to make it 1-0.

The goal forced La Passe out of their shell as they went on the offensive and were rewarded 11 minutes later. Henriette started the move as he teased Allen Larue before releasing Malagasy captain Eric Rajaobery, who flashed a superb cross across the face of goal. Malagasy Asman Abdou was on hand to drive the ball into the net for a 1-1 score.

On the half-hour mark, St Michel almost restored their lead as Benahovy threaded a pass to Malagasy Pascal and Pierre Fanchette failed to clear the danger. Pascal’s angled shot flew narrowly wide.

Two minutes later, Alex Nibourette found space behind La Passe’s defence but he shot weakly at Euphrasie, who nearly lost the ball as it rolled under his body and had to be grabbed before it crossed the line.

In the 35th minute, St Michel had a goal ruled out for offside as Francis Nourrice volleyed home Anacoura’s free kick.
Four minutes later, St Michel must have been grateful for a dubious offside decision against Rajaobery as he raced clear after being released by Hubert Ernesta to beat the St Michel offside trap.

La Passe took the lead in the 44th minute after Sopha failed to reach Abdou’s fiercely driven corner which Larue turned into corner. In his second corner, Abdou floated the ball to Hubert Ernesta, who rose unmarked to head past Sopha to make it 2-1.
St Michel almost drew level in injury time as Benahovy’s strong free kick was parried by Euphrasie to Nourrice who fluffed the gilt-edge opportunity.

The second half was a more physical battle as La Passe dropped back while St Michel poured forward in search of the equaliser. Malagasy Bruno Saindini though tested Sopha with a thumping long range free kick in the 56th minute and he saved at the second attempt.

St Michel huffed and puffed, but La Passe stood defiant as they tried to break their opponents’ resolve with some tough defending. However, St Michel were given a lifeline in the 79th minute, somewhat controversially as they were awarded a penalty.

Anacoura raced in the box as he latched onto a through ball and went down under Kenny Nibourette’s challenge. Many in the stadium thought Anacoura had taken a dive and sadly for La Passe, referee Jourdan Benstrong bought the trick and pointed to the spot after much hesitation. La Passe were furious with the decision and it took a while before calm was restored. Anacoura held his nerves to shoot past a static Euphrasie to make it 2-2.

Brutus hat-trick inspires St Louis Suns to victory

On Friday, St Louis Suns returned to winning ways as Wilnes Brutus scored a hat-trick to help them beat SMB 4-1.
St Louis Suns started brightly and almost took the lead in the 16th minute as Andy Mougal wriggled his way to set up Malagasy Rijaniaina, who shot wide from a good scoring position. SMB responded in the 21st minute as they pounced on a defensive mistake and Colin Laporte slipped a pass to Marty Fanny, who shot wide.

Midway in this half, St Louis Suns’ Denis Barbé tested goalie Trevor Bill with a long range effort which he spilled. At the other end, elder brother James Bill missed a good chance after being set up by Laporte.

St Louis Suns broke the deadlock in the 25th minute after a good move involving Mougal, who linked up with Yannick Charlette whose inch-perfect cross was volleyed home by Brutus to make it 1-0.

Two minute later, Charlette almost doubled the lead after some good skills but his shot grazed a post. In the 32nd minute Mougal eluded his defender and his shot was pushed out by goalie Bill.

SMB almost drew level in the 48th minute as Yannick Julie found himself in the clear but his shot was parried by goalie Eugene Valentin.

In the 55th minute, St Louis Suns increased their lead after a sweeping move involving Charlette and Brutus, who set up Mougal and he beat goalie Bill to make it 2-0.

Ten minutes later, St Louis Suns added a third as Malagasy Jean Del’Or Tsaralaza released Brutus, who rifled the ball into the net to make it 3-0.

In the 78th minute Malagasy Rijaniaina curled a free kick which hit a post, but SMB reduced the deficit in the 83rd minute from Jean-Paul Aglaé’s free kick which defender Rodney Stravens headed past Valentin for a 1-3 score.

Brutus completed his hat-trick in the 92nd minute from a breakaway goal as Rijaniaina pushed forward to square the ball to him. He hit the target for a 4-1 lead.

LightStars run riot against Northern Dynamo

Praslin side LightStars ran riot on Praslin as they recorded the biggest victory so far in the league this season, thumping hapless Northern Dynamo 7-0.

Rennick Esther scored a hat-trick as he got a brace in the first half. Andrew Jean made it 3-0 at half-time.
Jean scored from the penalty spot in the second period to complete his brace, while Warren Esther and Colin Esther got their names on the scoresheet with a goal apiece.

Foresters hold Anse Reunion

Bottom club Foresters secured a vital point as they came away from La Digue with a 2-2 draw. Foresters stunned their opponents as they opened the scoring through Derrick Figaro in the first half. However, Yelvanny Rose restored parity in the second half and Malagasy Milison Niasere gave coach Vojo Gardasevic's team the lead.

Foresters though fought back as Roland Antat leveled the score at 2-2.
Yelvanny Rose had the chance to give his team all three points in the dying minutes but he failed to score from the penalty spot.

R. J-L.

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