Football: Barclays league division one-Corallie hat-trick inspires St Michel


It was always going to be a tall order for former St Michel coach Ralph Jean-Louis with his new team.

St Michel was always the superior side as they dictated the pace of the game and should have reached double figures as they did against Quincy.

However St Michel’s opening goal had an element of controversy in the ninth minute as Alex Nibourette should have been penalised for a nudge on Patrick Bonne by referee Eddie Maillet. 

Surprisingly our top official allowed Nibourette to get away with this infringement which resulted in a goal as his cross was bundled past goalkeeper Eugene Valentin for a 1-0 lead.

Three minutes later, St Michel’s captain Don Anacoura and Nibourette started a move from their own half as they exchanged passes to reach St Roch’s penalty area.  But Anacoura’s teasing cross was met by Nibourette’s header which brought a good save out of goalkeeper Valentin.

St Roch came to life in the 21st minute as their irrepressible Steven Telemaque combined with Nerick Athanase who had returned from suspension.  It required a last ditch clearance to deny Telemaque from levelling the score.

The boys of coach Jean-Louis felt hard done by referee Maillet on the half-hour mark as Telemaque glided past St Michel’s Malagasy defender Jimmy Radafison who blocked him but the official did not blow for a blatant foul.

St Michel increased their lead in the 34th minute from a well worked free kick by Malagasy Radafison whose curling ball was met by Corallie’s header which he guided past goalie Valentin to make it 2-0 as he completed his brace.

Two minutes later, St Michel stretched their advantage as Henny Dufresne, who was deputising in left back for the suspended Allen Larue, pour forward to filter a pass to Nibourette whose pinpoint cross fell to Malagasy Jean-Delor Tsaralaza whose free header flew into the net to make it 3-0.

St Roch tried to tighten their defence as they brought on Denis Belle in the second period but three minutes into this half, Nibourette worked wonders to pick out Wilnes Brutus but from close range, he planted his header wide of target.

In the 55th minute, St Michel went further ahead as Malagasy Delor latched onto a through ball to set up Corallie who should have gone for glory but he unselfishly squared to Nibourette who accepted the gift to rifle home to increase the score to 4-0.

St Roch suffered a major setback in the 63rd minute as Telemaque -- their most influential player and midfielder who almost joined St Michel -- limped off injured.

Telemaque’s departure added to St Roch’s woes and in the 65th minute, captain Anacoura beat the offside trap to offer Corallie a golden opportunity but in a three on one situation, he failed to complete his hat trick.

Three minutes later, Delor worked hard to create an opening for the young Corallie but his shot brought a good save out of goalie Valentin.

St Michel were overwhelming St Roch and twice were denied decent penalty appeals -- first Delor as he was hacked down in the box and later on, captain Anacoura was brought down but on both occasions, referee Maillet reacted leniently.

In the 71st minute, captain Anacoura rattled the cross bar with a cracking free kick which goalie Valentin struggled to reach but Nibourette failed to bag the rebound.

St Roch almost grabbed a goal in the 77th minute from substitute Denis Barbe’s long ball forward to another substitute Roy Julie which goalkeeper Nelson Sopha blocked.

The loose ball dropped to former St Michel midfielder Malagasy Nestor Benahovy whose fierce shot was charged down.

St Michel went 5-0 up in the 80th minute as Dufresne galloped into midfield to centre to Corallie whose initial shot was blocked.  After a melée, the ball fell invitingly to Corallie who made no mistake to grab his hat trick.

St Michel put the icing on the cake in the 88th minute from another shining free kick by Anacoura which rebounded off the cross bar.  Substitute Leeroy Mathiot drilled the rebound home for a 6-0 victory.

St Michel’s manager Andrew Jean-Louis told Nation Sports that the victory was rather easy as there was very little resistance from St Roch.

“They left space and allowed us to exploit them which helped us to an easy win.  This win will boost our confidence and let us hope we can maintain our momentum for a tough match against La Passe on La Digue next weekend,” the St Michel manager stated.

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