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


League leaders St Michel shared the spoils against La Passe as they held each other to a 2-2 draw at Stad Linite on Saturday. On La Digue, Anse Reunion sneaked past St Francis 1-0 while on Praslin St Roch stunned LightStars 2-1. On Friday at Stad Linite, Côte d’Or beat St Louis Suns 2-1.

St Michel and La Passe draw

St Michel and La Passe played a 2-2 draw on Saturday

This top-of-the-table clash had drawn a decent crowd at Stad Linite as the outcome would have a significant bearing on the destination of the Barclays league division one title.

St Michel drew first blood as they took the lead in the 10th minute from captain Don Anacoura’s free-kick on the edge of the penalty area. The ball took a deflection off Malagasy defender Tholix Jean to fly past goalkeeper Vincent Euphrasie to make it 1-0.

Four minutes later, St Michel stretched their advantage as Malagasy Jean Del’Or Tsaralaza latched onto a through ball to flick the ball over goalkeeper Euphrasie to make it 2-0.

La Passe then had to react if they wanted to stay in the title race and in the 16th minute, captain Achille Henriette floated a free-kick to Malagasy Valerie who could not guide his header on target.

La Passe reduced the arrears in the 22nd minute as Renick Esther chased a long ball over the St Michel defence and was brought down by Samuel Henriette for a penalty which referee Bernard Camille duly obliged. Malagasy Fagnorena stepped up to send goalkeeper Nelson Sopha the wrong way for a 1-2 score.

Three minutes later, La Passe had another chance as Valerie played a superb cross to captain Henriette but he shot wide.

The La Digue-based side levelled matters on the stroke of half-time from a good move involving Senky Vidot who released Jean-Paul Marguerite. The La Passe right back put in a great cross to Fagnorena who pounced his header low past goalkeeper Sopha for a 2-2 score at half-time.

The second half was rather an anti-climax as La Passe tried to contain St Michel and hit them on a counter, while St Michel were eager to restore their advantage.

On the hour mark, St Michel’s Gervais Waye-Hive eluded a couple of tackles only to be shoved in the back but referee Camille was not convinced.

St Michel showed more hunger to claim all the points as La Passe packed their defence and in the 64th minute captain Anacoura did well to set up Nelson Laurence whose fierce low shot was pushed into corner by goalkeeper Euphrasie.

The defending league champions had another opportunity in the 85th minute but Andy Mougal’s shot was saved by Euphrasie.
Both teams had to be content with a point and hope to turn the league title in their favour in the three remaining matches.

Anse Reunion and St Roch win

In the other matches on Saturday, La Digue’s Anse Reunion continued their good form as they defeated St Francis 1-0 with a superb free-kick by Malagasy Hassan Ali in the first half on home soil.

On Praslin, St Roch shocked struggling LightStars with a hard fought 2-1 win to ease their relegation fears.

Klaus Pragassen gave visitors St Roch the lead in the second half but LightStars Fabien Albert levelled matters with a header from a corner to make it 1-1.

St Roch’s Malagasy Emilien scored a late winner to secure a good win for his team on Praslin, keeping LightStars in the relegation zone.
Côte d’Or edge St Louis Suns

Praslin side Côte d’Or edged St Louis Suns 2-1 at Stad Linite on Friday to extend their unbeaten run.

However, St Louis Suns could and should have won this match which they dominated for long spells despite the absence of coach Michel Renaud who is overseas and has left the task to his assistants Donald Monnaie and Robert Morel.

In the 12th minute, St Louis Suns had a good chance to break the deadlock as Malagasy Jules Rapiera dispossessed Collin Esther to release Fabien Cadeau who shot weakly at goalkeeper Kitson Cécile.

Two minutes later though Collin Esther latched onto a half cleared ball to let fly a cracker which goalkeeper Elvis Leopold could only parry but he cleared the danger at the second attempt.
In the 22nd minute, St Louis Suns’ Nadim Lucas and Steven Constance got in each other’s way to let in Dean Suzette. But Lucas recovered in time to charge down Suzette’s shot.

In the 29th minute, Côte d’Or should have gone ahead somewhat controversially as Suzette, who was clearly offside but not signaled by assistant referee James Emile who had a poor game, crossed the ball to Steven Lesperance who shot wide with the goal begging.

Seven minutes later, Lesperance was again in an offside position when he received the ball and it was not signaled by assistant referee Emile. Lesperance’s strong shot came off goalkeeper Leopold and onto the post for a corner.

A minute later, Côte d’Or took the lead from a free-kick by Malagasy Patrick Ramsamimanana whose shot looked an easy catch but goalkeeper Leopold fumbled as he was wrongly positioned to concede a soft goal.

Collin Esther tested goalkeeper Leopold with a shot on the turn in the 54th minute which he just managed to parry to safety.

In the 61st  minute, St Louis Suns’ Mervin Mathiot exchanged a neat one-two with Trevor Poiret to open up Côte d’Or whose captain Steve Esther was absent. Mathiot though shot wide when he should have scored.

The second half was quite entertaining and in the 68th minute St Louis Suns applied the pressure and Rapiera’s shot was pushed out to Poiret who was brought down on the edge of the penalty area for a free-kick but it was wasted.

In the 73rd minute, St Louis Suns were awarded a penalty by referee Jean-Claude Labrosse who adjudged that captain Denis Barbé’s ball had been handled. Poiret stepped up for the spot kick but he blasted the ball over the crossbar.

St Louis Suns were made to pay for their miss as Côte d’Or added a second goal in the 76th minute. Patrick scored with a beautiful curling free-kick which flew in the top corner for a 2-0 score.

In the 80th minute, St Louis Suns put a string of passes together involving Cadeau and substitute Elijah Tamboo before squaring the ball to Mathiot who missed a gaping goal.

A minute later, captain Barbé threaded a pass to Poiret who showed some good skills but unfortunately he shot wide from close range.

In the 84th minute as St Louis Suns continued on the offensive, Cadeau’s cross was handled by Côte d’Or’s Malagasy Mazinot Valentin and referee Labrosse awarded them another penalty. This time Malagasy Rapiera took the responsibility and made no mistake from the penalty spot to give St Louis Suns a lifeline at 2-1.

Unfortunately it was too little too late as they had wasted too many opportunities in a match which was within their grasp but allowed a far from convincing Côte d’Or to steal all the points.

R. J-L.

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