Football: Barclays league division one-La Passe keep in touch with St Michel, St Louis Suns and LightStars win, Côte d’Or roll on


At Stad Linite on Saturday, St Louis Suns put on an impressive display to beat Anse Reunion 2-0.

La Passe v Northern Dynamo

La Passe left it late against a battling Northern Dynamo side to squeeze ahead 2-1 to keep the pressure on league leaders St Michel. La Passe are tied on points with St Michel though they are far behind on goal difference as the title race enters its last two matches.

Former Quincy striker Alex Dugasse had given La Passe a 1-0 half-time lead, but Dynamo’s Malagasy forward Asman Todisoa cancelled it in the second half to make it 1-1.

VALERIE … scorer of La Passe’s winning goal

As the match was headed for a draw, Renick Esther was awarded a penalty by referee Jean-Claude Labrosse late in the match and Malagasy Valerie duly obliged to fire past goalkeeper Jules Monnaie for a hard fought 2-1 win.

St Louis Suns v Anse Reunion

St Louis Suns turned on the style once again on Saturday against Anse Reunion to register a deserved 2-0 victory.

Last week, St Louis Suns had played Côte d’Or off the park but had nothing to show as they lost 2-1, but this time round, they were more concentrated and hungry for a win to match their impressive display.

St Louis Suns’ short passing game and movement unsettled Anse Reunion and Malagasy Gilles Rapiera tested goalkeeper Ricky Rose as early as the eighth minute with a dipping shot which he tipped over.

In the 15th minute, Kelly Nibourette and Elijah Tamboo exchanged passes to set up Mervin Mathiot but he blazed wide.

Anse Reunion struggled to make an impact in the match especially as their Malagasy playmaker Hassan Ali was well marked by his colleague Rapiera in midfield.

The La Digue side tried to hit St Louis Sun at long range through the lanky Hubert Ernesta in the 19th minute but goalkeeper Elvis Leopold pushed the ball into corner.

A minute later, St Louis Suns’ appeal for a penalty was turned down by referee Kieren Yocette as Mathiot glided past a couple of tackles and appeared to go down under Armantal Ernesta’s challenge.

St Louis Suns’ endeavours paid off in the 40th minute as some good approach play involving Rapiera and Tamboo on the left helped release Nibourette who cut inside Armantal Ernesta to fire low past goalkeeper Rose for a 1-0 lead.

St Louis Suns should have stretched their lead three minutes later as Tamboo latched onto a through ball to spring Anse Reunion’s offside trap but in the clear he decided to square to Mathiot who fluffed a great opportunity when he should have gone for goal.

Anse Reunion raised their game in the second period as they went on the offensive but were undone in the 59th minute as Trevor Poiret countered swiftly on the right. Poiret picked out Nibourette with an inch-perfect cross which he chest-trapped and rifled past goalkeeper Rose to make it 2-0 and complete his brace. However, Nibourette had to be replaced minutes later with a leg injury.

Anse Reunion tried to fight back and in the 67th minute Norvil Gaspard’s cross-cum-shot almost dropped behind goalkeeper Leopold who just managed to clear the danger.

St Louis Suns were still dangerous though on the counter and in the 69th minute, Mathiot sent a teasing cross which Tamboo got a head to it but it sailed narrowly wide with goalkeeper Rose stranded.

In the 76th minute, Poiret should have been given a penalty as he turned Armantal Ernesta who blocked him but the official was not convinced.

In the 83rd minute, Anse Reunion will rue themselves for failing to cut St Louis Suns’ lead as Malagasy Hassan Ali released Hugo Sezou and St Louis Suns’ defender Steven Constance tried to cut the pass with a header as he stooped low but he failed. Sezou pounced on the loose ball but he shot wide with the goal begging.

It was a let-off for St Louis Suns whose technical advisor Donald Monnaie made his feelings known to his defenders as he hurled instructions throughout the match to keep his players concentrated.

In the 89th minute, Rapiera picked a short goal-kick to feed Mathiot who waltzed his way past a defender before pulling the ball back to substitute Carlos Nourrice who shot wide at the near post.

In injury time, St Louis Suns were caught dithering with the ball and Gaspard sneaked in to bore on goal before chipping a pass to substitute Nickerro Marie whose header was saved by goalkeeper Leopold to help his team register a well-deserved three points.

Côte d’Or v St Roch

Côte d’Or survived a scare on Praslin against St Roch on Saturday before winning 3-2.
St Roch have a very good record against inner island teams and almost continued as they went ahead in this match courtesy of an own goal to lead 1-0 at half-time.
Marlon Sophola though equalised in the second half to make it 1-1.

Young striker Shaun Larue gave Côte d’Or a 2-1 advantage but Roy Julie levelled matters at 2-2. 
Referee Jose Pillay then awarded a dubious penalty late in the match and Collin Esther stepped up to restore his team’s lead at 3-2.

St Roch were aggrieved with the official who failed to penalise Côte d’Or goalkeeper Kitson Cecile who collided with Julie who needed four stitches with a head wound. St Roch felt they should also have been awarded a penalty for this incident but it was not to be as they lost 3-2 to Côte d’Or who maintained their long unbeaten run.

Quincy v LightStars

This was a relegation battle between the two bottom clubs and Praslin side LightStars took a decisive step to at least survive and tempt their luck of staying in the top flight via the play-off.

However, it was a match which lacked quality and with the driving rain at times, it did not help the cause of those two teams.

LightStars were slightly the better side especially with their Malagasy trio and in the 23rd minute Haja burst through to fire at goalkeeper Trevor Bill who parried his shot to Mario Ravo who scored but the goal was disallowed for offside by referee Bernard Camille.

In the 27th minute, the two Malagasies again combined as Ravo laid the ball to Haja in a swift move and he blasted it into the roof of the net for a 1-0 lead.

In the second half, Quincy tried to restore parity as they showed more purpose and in the 77th minute Jerry Freminot did well to create a chance but his shot was blocked by a defender.

In injury time, James Bill also went close with a strong shot which goalkeeper Denis Fideria parried to preserve his team’s lead as they secured a much-needed three points.

R. J-L.

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