St Michel keep LightStars guessing


LightStars need the same St Michel side to do them a favour today on Praslin by avoiding defeat to Côte d’Or which will guarantee them a semifinal berth.

The adverse weather condition with heavy showers and winds did not help the mood in the stadium which was rather damp but for St Michel it was business as usual.

They fielded four of their Indian Ocean Island Games gold medallists including national team captain Don Anacoura and they were gifted a goal in the 15th minute when LightStars’ defender Perry Nibourette turned Alex Nibourette’s cross past goalie Jean-Paul Lesperance (1-0).

Five minutes later, LightStars’ Andrew Jean, who is making a name for himself from dead ball situations, produced his trademark free-kick which flew past goalie Gino Melanie to level the score at 1-1.

St Michel restored their lead in the 39th minute as LighStars’ Andy Brioche lost the ball in midfield and it was played to Leeroy Corallie but in his tussle with a defender, the ball broke to Anacoura who fired a low shot that crept in at the far post for a 2-1 scoreline.

On the stroke of half-time, LightStars should have levelled matters once again as captain Bertrand Esther lofted a deep cross to Jean who headed to Malagasy Jean Ducaud Malamo but he delayed his shot which Melanie parried into corner.

St Michel extended their advantage in the 50th minute from Gervais Waye-Hive’s curling corner kick which was met by Malagasy defender Jimmy Radafison’s towering header for a 3-1 score – a goal which will help erase some of the criticism levelled at him for his error which led to Madagascar’s defeat against Reunion at the IOIG.

In the 53rd minute, LightStars’ Malagasy striker Mario Ravo created space to fire a fierce shot which was deflected into corner much to the relief of Melanie.

Three minutes later, Senky Vidot also went close with a curling shot which flew agonisingly wide.

St Michel brought in three youngsters on the hour mark in the shape of Silvio Adrienne, Darwin Rosette and Stephen Bijoux for Henny Dufresne, Nibourette and Anacoura.

St Michel completed the scoring in the 83rd minute as Waye-Hive picked out Francis Nourrice with an inch-perfect cross after having turned Marcus Rose on the bye-line.

  Nourrice’s initial shot was blocked by Lesperance, but he got a second bite of the cherry to drill the ball home to make it 4-1.

LightStars’ captain Esther should have reduced the arrears in the 89th minute from Vidot’s cross but his clear header sailed over the crossbar and their fate in the competition now lies in the hands of these same opponents.

R. J-L.

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