Football: Airtel Cup-Côte d’Or cancel out Northern Dynamo



Both teams finished the match with 10 men as they each had a player sent off in the second half in a game which had three penalties.

Côte d’Or fielded a few of their reserve players as they got ready for their semi final match against Anse Reunion, but they were not ready to relinquish their unbeaten run.

Despite their second string squad, Côte d’Or had the better chances such as in the 12th minute when Marlon Sophola released Malagasy Jean Tigana but his cross left a lot to be desired in a clear opportunity.

In the 17h minute, Côte d’Or’s Shelton Arissol set up Sophola who beat the offside trap but in a one-on-one situation he allowed goalkeeper Jules Monnaie to block his shot.
Midway in this half, the Praslin side’s captain Melvin Uranie curled in a free-kick which was tipped over by Monnaie.

A minute later, Côte d’Or were at it again as Malagasy Mazinot Valentin threaded a pass to Sophola who was in acres of space but he hurried his shot which was saved by Monnaie.

The second half though was more entertaining as Northern Dynamo raised their game and in the 51st minute Malagasy Asman Todisoa broke clear and as the ball rolled to his captain Evans Télémaque, Côte d’Or’s reserve goalie Jean-Paul Lesperance produced a great save.

In the 68th minute, Côte d’Or sliced open Northern Dynamo’s defence as Malagasy Jean Tigana linked up with his colleague Mazinot Valentin who instead of going for glory squared to Sophola who blazed the ball over the bar from close range as Dynamo rode their luck.

In the 72nd minute at the other end, controversy loomed large as Todisoa and Côte d’Or’s Jones Joubert battled it out for a long ball. Referee Emile Fred strangely adjudged that Joubert had pulled down Todisoa and he called for a penalty and sent off Joubert with a straight red card which was a rather harsh decision.
After much protest, Marcus Maria stepped up to fire the ball past goalkeeper Lesperance for a 1-0 lead.

Eight minutes later, Côte d’Or drew level as referee Fred penalised substitute Daniel Maillet for handling substitute Collin Esther’s free-kick as he stood in the wall. Malagasy Jean Tigana took responsibility for the spot kick and he buried it into the roof of the net to make it 1-1.

A minute later, Tigana had a glorious opportunity to put Côte d’Or ahead as he raced onto Mazinot’s glorious through ball but he shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

In the 84th minute, Tigana played a quick free-kick to Mazinot who headed across goal to Sophola who looked odds on to score and was held by Dynamo’s defender Ronny Hoareau.  Referee Fred blew for an infringement and awarded a second penalty for Côte d’Or.  The official also showed defender Hoareau a straight red card much to the disgust of Dynamo’s bench.

Tigana again decided to take the spot kick but his time round goalkeeper Monnaie produced a superb leap to block his shot.

Côte d’Or had another gilt-edge opportunity to secure all the three points as Mazinot filtered a pass to Sophola but his chip was blocked by Monnaie as the two teams shared the points.

R. J-L.

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