AIRTEL CUP SEMI FINAL-St Michel seal St Louis Suns fate in extra time


There was, for once, a decent crowd to watch this Saints clash but unfortunately it was a one staved of goalscoring opportunities but was rather a tactical battle.

St Louis Suns played five in defence to try to stop St Michel and their tactics worked quite well especially in the first half as they dominated St Michel who struggled to find their rhythm.

In the 18 minute, Yannick Charlette slipped a through ball to Fabien Cadeau who beat St Michel’s offside trap but he was brought down by goalkeeper Gino Melanie just on the penalty edge and was lucky only to receive a yellow card as St Louis Suns demanded a penalty but only got a free kic.

In the 21 minute, Cadeau set up Serge Asba whose dipping shot was deflected into corner as St Louis suns twice had penalty appeals turned down for hand ball incidents as they applied the pressure on St Michel.

Just past the half hour mark, captain Trevor Poiret curled in a free kick which Jonathan Bibi just failed to flick over goalie Melanie from a good position.

St Michel nearly stole the lead in the 41st minute when Carl Hall’s low shot was surprisingly spilled by goalkeeper Joel Lesperance who recovered in time to clear the danger but was impeded by Leeroy Corallie who was lucky not to be sent off as he had been booked minutes earlier with the officials struggling to control the match.

St Michel brought on Gervais Waye-Hive for Corallie in the second period and in the 54 minute Alex Nibourette’s cross was missed by Francis Nourrice’s diving header when to the surprise of all present assistant referee Walter Underwood awarded a corner kick which infuriated the St Louis Suns players who claimed they had not touched the ball. 

St Michel almost scored from Don Anacoura’s corner which was met by Hall’s glancing header which rolled agonizingly wide.

Referee Jean-Claude Labrosse strangely failed to award St Michel a penalty in the 59 minute as Hall and Anacoura combined and Hall was tripped by David Dorby as he bore on goal.

In the 61 minute, Francis Nourrice stole the ball from Jonathan Bibi but the national team defender recovered in tme to stop the former Foresters striker in his stride.

St Louis Suns should have done better in the 70 minute as captain Poiret and substitute James Bill combined to release Cadeau but he flashed his shot wide when he should have hit the target.

St Michel had a great opportunity to break the deadlock in the 87 minute as goalie Lesperance could only parry Nibourette’s awkward cross.  The ball fell to substitute Waye-Hive but he could not lob the ball into an empty net.

The game therefore had to go into extra time and St Michel looked much superior as St Louis Suns lacked punch in their forward line to trouble their opponents.

In the 102 minute, St Michel’s Malagasy defender Jimmy Radafison connected to Waye-Hive’s corner but the ball was cleared on the goalline with substitute Andy Mougal lurking.

St Michel brought on Wilnes Brutus in the second period of extra time and it paid dividends as in the 108 minute, the former St Louis Suns striker latched onto a half cleared ball to centre to Mougal who drilled the cross past goalie Mougal who drilled the cross past goalie Mougal to make it 1-0 for his new team on his debut.

However St Louis Suns protested as Brutus appeared to control the ball with his hands which was not seen by the officials.

St Louis Suns had to throw men forward and three minutes later, Brian Dorby pumped a free kick into St Michel’s penalty area whose goalie Melanie missed and the ball dropped to Charlette who fed Bill but he made a meal with his shot and blew his team’s chances of leveling the score.

St Michel will now meet La Passe after the La Digue side to marched into the finals with an easy 4-0 victory over Lightstars.  Marcus Labiche scored twice and Malagsy Valerie as well as Yelvanny Rose added one each on Tuesday afternoon on Praslin to set up a match up with St Michel on Saturday.

St Michel manager Andrew Jean-Louis told Sports Nation that it was a tough match with his team out of sorts on the first half but improving as the match grew older.

As for St Louis Suns coach, Marc Mathiot he felt his team created enough chances to win but was critical of the officials whose mistakes proved costly for his team Mathiot said that his team put in a decent performance and deserved better in this semi final encounter.

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