Football: Land Marine Cup semifinals-St Michel and La Passe progress to the final


However, the two top teams had contrasting fortunes in their matches. La Passe edged Northern Dynamo 2-1 and St Michel beat their bogey team The Lions 5-2.

Northern Dynamo v La Passe

La Digue-based La Passe made a jittery start with goalkeeper Dave Mussard gifting Northern Dynamo a goal in the 12th minute as he allowed Ted Cupidon’s long free-kick to slip out of his gloves and Dynamo’s captain Steve Henriette drilled the loose ball into the net to make it 1-0.

La Passe had to raise the tempo and in the 18th minute, Yelvanny Rose should have done better with Malagasy Tholix Jean’s long ball forward.

La Passe drew level in the 27th minute as Dynamo’s captain Henriette brought down Garry Radegonde who had got the better of him on the bye-line. Achille Henriette fired the free-kick from a tight angle past goalkeeper Jules Monnaie at the near post for a 1-1 score.

Three minutes later, Dynamo had another great chance to regain the lead as Francis Moumou floated the ball to Valerio Dorothé whose low left foot shot was cleared by Mussard’s legs.

In the 35th minute, Dorothé was lucky not to be sent off by referee Eddie Maillet after he deliberately punched out Malagasy Valerie’s towering header from Roderick Rose’s corner on the goal-line. Referee Maillet only yellow-carded Dorothé and awarded a penalty.

HENRIETTE … scorer of a brace for La PasseAchille Henriette stepped to shoot past Monnaie but referee Maillet signalled for the penalty to be retaken as the La Passe players had infringed in the box. Achille Henriette placed his second penalty on the other side and it was pushed onto the post by Monnaie. La Passe failed to hit the target in the impending scramble.

In the 40th minute, Dynamo had another golden opportunity as Mussard spilled Cupidon’s shot but Dorothé’s hooked shot came off the crossbar as La Passe rode their luck.

La Passe went 2-1 up in the 57th minute when Dynamo captain Steve Henriette headed Radegonde’s deep cross past Monnaie for an embarrassing own goal.

La Passe brought on Malagasy player/coach Bruno Saindini and Marcus Labiche to kill off Dynamo and in the 69th minute, Saindini fed Achille Henriette who eluded Monnaie but Steve Henriette blocked his shot at the near post.

Dynamo also threw caution to the wind in search of an equaliser and in the 79th minute, Francis Moumou pumped a long free-kick which Mussard missed but three of his colleagues failed to connect at the far post.

La Passe had to replace Mussard with Vincent Euphrasie in the 84th minute as Saindini and Yelvanny Rose combined to lay the ball on a plate to Labiche who, somehow, miscued from a metre out.

La Passe though held on to book a place in the final and coach Marius Fanchette told Sports Nation they did what was required to reach the final though they did not play well.

“We did not play on Saturday which broke our rhythm, but now we will prepare for the final,’ said coach Fanchette.

As for Dynamo’s coach Cliff Nolin, he said his team had last trained on Friday which affected their performance on Wednesday. He was not too disheartened with his team’s showing.

St Michel v The Lions

St Michel had a score to settle with The Lions whom they had not beaten in two league encounters.

The Lions even stunned them in the fourth minute as Leeroy Gomme pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area to fire past goalkeeper Nelson Sopha.

St Michel responded in the 11th minute as Nelson Laurence’s shot came off goalkeeper Jerome Dingwall’s chest.

In the 16th minute, The Lions should have set the cat amongst the pigeons as Dine Suzette latched onto an exquisite through-ball to round Sopha and cross to Gomme who inexplicably failed to score with the goal at his mercy.

Four minutes later, Randolph Lablache burst through on the right and his shot was pushed onto the post by Sopha.

St Michel slowly got their act together and in the 23rd minute, Gervais Waye-Hive tested Dingwall who parried this shot into corner. From the resulting corner floated by Don Anacoura, Malagasy Jimmy Radafison failed to hit the target.

St Michel had to replace Henny Dufresne who is still suffering with a recurring injury and Leeroy Corallie came on.

The league champions equalised in the 26th minute as Waye Hive lofted a corner which Wilnes Brutus headed home to make it 1-1.

St Michel were awarded a penalty in the 28th minute as Corallie was pulled down by Darrel Lesperance and referee Jean-Claude Labrosse, who had an average game, pointed to the spot. Corallie though shot wide with Dingwall diving the other way.

The young striker though made amends in the 31st minute from a superb counter attack. It all started from Sopha’s long throw to Waye-Hive who sped forward to put in an inch-perfect cross which Corallie tapped in for a 2-1 score.

In the 40th minute, St Michel, who were completely dominant, exchanged passes involving captain Nigel Freminot and Waye-Hive to release Corallie whose cut-back was thumped in by Brutus for a 3-1 lead.

St Michel scored a fourth goal on the stroke of half-time as Alex Nibourette threaded a passBRUTUS … St Michel’s two-goal man to Corallie who looked offside but was not signaled allowing him to rifle the ball into the net to make it 4-1.

Two minutes in the second half, goalie Dingwall produced a double save to deny Waye-Hive.
In the 50th minute, Waye-Hive managed to get his name on the score-sheet as he controlled a fantastic ball from Laurence and was brought down by Valdo Azemia. Referee Labrosse awarded another penalty and Waye-Hive stepped up to shoot into the roof of the net for a 5-1 scoreline.

In the 52nd minute, Brutus was stopped in his stride from grabbing a hat-trick as he raced clear to skip past Dingwall but his shot was cleared on the goal-line by a defender.

St Michel grew complacent as the match wore on and in the 69th minute, The Lions’ substitute Dave Max shot across goal with Sopha slow to cover the shot.

In the 81st minute, St Michel’s captain Freminot gave the ball away as they were caught show-boating and Max accepted the gift to squeeze the shot past Sopha for a 5-2 final score.

St Michel’s manager Andrew Jean-Louis told Sports Nation his team played well in the first half but failed to maintain the momentum in the second, something which did not please him.

St Michel will now play La Passe tomorrow in the final as they aim to complete another clean sweep of honours.

R. J-L.

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