Football: Barclays league division one-St Michel and St Louis Suns share the spoils, La Passe go top, Côte d’Or, Anse Reunion win


On Praslin, Côte d’Or inflicted another defeat on LightStars with a 2-0 win and on Friday, Anse Reunion defeated St Roch 2-0 at Stad Linite.

St Michel - St Louis Suns

The battle of the Saints between St Louis Suns and St Michel ended goalless

This eagerly awaited Saints derby had pulled the largest crowd so far as St Michel put their title on the line and St Louis Suns tried to maintain their winning streak.

The experienced St Michel squad were the much better side as they dominated possession and drew first blood in the fifth minute when Wilnes Brutus played an intelligent back-heel to the overlapping Alex Nibourette but the national team midfielder shot across goal.

St Michel had grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck as St Louis Suns were only ball chasing and in the 20th minute captain Don Anacoura’s curling free-kick was punched out by goalkeeper Joel Lesperance as far as Malagasy Jean Del’Or Tsaralaza but he drilled the rebound wide.

In the 22nd minute, St Louis Suns almost stunned St Michel with a quickly taken free-kick by Denis Barbé to captain Mervin Mathiot who had a clear run on goal but his control let him down.

On the half hour mark, St Michel should have broken the deadlock as Tsaralaza rode the tackle of Damien Tamboo to put in an inch-perfect cross on Marcus Labiche’s head but the former La Passe striker’s downward header lacked the sting to trouble Lesperance.

Seconds later though, as St Louis Suns gave away possession, the ball was played to Tsaralaza who was in the clear but Lesperance did well to block his shot.

In the 32nd minute, St Louis Suns rode their luck as Nibourette centred to Labiche whose shot crashed under the crossbar and the rebound fell to Nelson Laurence who again saw his volley ricochet against the crossbar but assistant referee Barnsley Télémaque had already signalled for an offside.

St Michel continued to press for an opener and in the 38th minute, Nibourette’s cross-field pass sailed over Damien Tamboo to Tsaralaza but he shot in the side-netting as the St Michel supporters began celebrating prematurely.

St Louis Suns improved drastically in the second half as they tightened the marking on Nibourette and Tsaralaza though they had to replace the injured James David and Jean-Paul Aglaé came on.

In the 53rd minute, Roddy Melanie slipped a pass to captain Mathiot who had sneaked in between Nigel Freminot and Malagasy Jimmy Radafison, and his shot was just deflected into corner.

On the hour mark, St Louis Suns should have gone ahead as Fabien Cadeau released captain Mathiot who bore on goal but allowed the ball to roll to goalkeeper Nelson Sopha who failed to hold it. Elijah Tamboo picked up the loose ball but his goal-bound shot was somehow cleared by Freminot.

In the 77th minute, St Michel went close as Labiche, who looked suspiciously offside, burst through but he shot across goal.

The two teams seemed to have cancelled each other out in a very exciting second period and in the 82nd minute, Brutus and Tsaralaza combined on the edge of the penalty area. The Malagasy almost found the net but Damien Maria cleared the danger.

In injury time, both teams had a chance to claim all the points as firstly Mathiot latched onto a through ball but as Sopha rushed out of his goal, the St Louis Suns captain backed out on a challenge which could have resulted in a goal.

As the ball was played forward, St Michel’s substitute Leeroy Corallie got the better of the St Louis Suns defenders to cut the ball back to Brutus who had all the time in the world to pick his spot but from close range, he volleyed wide as the two teams had to be content with a point each.

In fact St Louis Suns coach Gregov Mladen told Sports Nation he was pleased with the result. Coach Mladen said it had been a tough match but felt his team had chances to win though he agreed St Michel played better as they were desperate for all the points.

St Michel’s manager Andrew Jean-Louis was rather disappointed as his team dropped more points in a match they dominated but felt they were just unlucky not to score.

La Passe - Quincy

La Passe maintained their winning run as they registered their fourth win in four matches.
Former LightStars striker Renick Esther scored a brace and new Malagasy recruit Samourine scored the other for a 3-0 win over bottom side Quincy.

Côte d’Or - LightStars

Côte d’Or edged LightStars 2-0 in a Praslin derby played at the Amitié Stadium on Saturday.
After a goalless first half, Malagasy Jean Tigana scored on the rebound after his penalty kick had been saved by goalkeeper Denis Fideria.

Rick Bibi ensured all the points as he scored late in the second half for a 2-0 victory over struggling LighStars.

Anse Reunion - St Roch

La Digue-based Anse Reunion defeated St Roch 2-0 at Stad Linite on Friday evening.
Anse Reunion started brightly as they dominated with Malagasies Jocelyn and Hassan Ali influential in the match.

In the sixth minute, Roderick Rose picked out former La Passe and Côte d’Or striker Hubert Ernesta who volleyed just wide of goalkeeper Eugene Valentin’s post.

St Roch’s response came in the ninth minute from a quickly taken free-kick by Malagasy Nestor Benahovy who lobbed the ball over the defence to Steven Télémaque but the normally lethal midfielder shot way off target.

Anse Reunion were still more threatening and in the 12th minute, Jocelyn pounced on a defensive mistake to release Ernesta whose instinctive shot was blocked by Valentin.

A minute later, Anse Reunion were rewarded for their endeavors as Evans Elizabeth galloped forward to skip past Darrel Forte and his centre fell to Hassan Ali who bore on goal to fire past Valentin to make it 1-0.

In the 22nd minute, the La Digue side should have extended their lead from a superb cross by Hassan Ali to Ernesta but his flick flashed across goal as St Roch rode their luck.

St Roch improved slightly as they raised their play and in the 38th minute Télémaque floated a corner to Richard Guichard who could not direct his free header on goal.

Two minutes later, Télémaque received a long ball from defence which he controlled before threading a pass to Roy Julie whose low shot was well stopped by goalkeeper Paul Ah-Kong.

Anse Reunion stretched their advantage on the stroke of half-time as captain Norvil Gaspard combined with Jocelyn to set up Roderick Rose. The latter let fly a cracking 30m shot which crashed into the roof of the net for a fantastic goal and a 2-0 lead.

St Roch showed more purpose in the second period as they pressed Anse Reunion and in the 63rd minute, goalkeeper Ah-Kong had to rush off his line to block Patrick Bonne’s header from Télémaque cross.

A minute later, St Roch again went close from Malagasy Benahovy’s free-kick which deflected off substitute Jacquelin Aglaé’s head but Ah-Kong just managed to keep the ball out of play.

In a rare Anse Reunion attack in the 67th minute, captain Gaspard fed Ernesta but he made a meal of his shot.
Anse Reunion almost gifted St Roch an own goal through Bernard Rose who deflected Richard Javotte’s shot past Ah-Kong but the ball rolled agonisingly wide.

Télémaque then forced a good save out of Ah-Kong in the 76th minute from a quickly taken free-kick but his near post shot was just kept out.

Anse Reunion should have added a third goal on a counter in the 86th minute from Hassan Ali’s pinpoint cross to Ronny Jacques but he headed wide with the goal at his mercy.

St Roch were denied a great opportunity to reduce the scoreline in the 90th minute as Télémaque got the better of Malagasy defender Eddy and was racing clear on goal. Surprisingly referee Elzea Michel blew for a foul on the St Roch player when he should have played the advantage.

R. J-L.

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