Football: Barclays league division one-Ten-man Dynamo edge The Lions


It would have been gross injustice if Northern Dynamo had lost this match which they dominated for long periods, after referee Emile Fred controversial sent off their captain Ronny Hoareau in the 78th minute.

Northern Dynamo had taken charge of the proceedings from the word go and in the seventh minute Marcus Maria tested goalkeeper Jerome Dingwall with a well-taken free-kick which he had to turn round the post into corner.

However, Northern Dynamo almost gifted The Lions an opening goal in the 16th minute as they gave the ball away cheaply allowing Malagasy Antonio to out-speed captain Hoareau.  Antonio centred in the penalty area and the Northern Dynamo defence only half cleared the ball to Yannick Charlette whose first time shot was saved by goalkeeper Jules Monnaie.

Northern Dynamo continued to enjoy possession as The Lions struggled to find their rhythm and in the 28th minute, Basil Bertin played a long ball to Malagasy Asman Todisoa who laid the ball to Shane Elizabeth but a timely intervention by Ahmed Maurice saved the day for The Lions.

In the 33rd minute, Northern Dynamo countered swiftly as Todisoa released Maria who ran a long way and held off a couple of defenders to fire a left foot shot across goal but it came off the foot of the post as The Lions rode their luck.

Northern Dynamo finally broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time from a long pass by Elvis Julius to Elizabeth. The young midfielder played a delightful pass to Todisoa who raced clear to draw goalie Dingwall. Todisoa then unselfishly squared to Maria who easily tapped into an empty net for a 1-0 lead at the break.

The goal spurred Northern Dynamo in the second half as they raised the tempo and in the 49th minute Maria picked up a loose ball from his own corner which was poorly cleared.  Maria cut inside a defender to rifle at goalkeeper Dingwall who could only parry the shot.

Northern Dynamo stretched their advantage in the 52nd minute after Steven Télémaque was stopped in his stride by Rachim Padayachy who was booked. Maria took the free-kick which he floated at the far post and Bertin met the ball with a diving header which flew past goalkeeper Dingwall to make it 2-0.

The Lions made two substitutions as they brought on Darrel Damoo and Michael Ernest on the hour mark to improve their play but Northern Dynamo were still dangerous.

Seconds later, Maria was unlucky not to complete his brace as his curling free-kick forced a good save out of goalkeeper Dingwall.

In the 63rd minute, Maria played a deep corner which was met by captain Hoareau’s towering header but luckily for The Lions the ball came off a defender.

The game though turned on its head in the 78th minute as former Northern Dynamo defender Ahmed Maurice bore forward and tried to go past captain Hoareau who tackled him. But Maurice went down in a heap and to everyone’s amazement, referee Emile Fred blew for an infringement and dished out a red card to captain Hoareau, much to the anger of the Northern Dynamo camp.

Referee Fred made it a double punishment as he also awarded a penalty. After much commotion, The Lions midfielder Rachim Padayachy stepped up to drill the ball into the far corner past goalkeeper Monnaie who had gone the right way but could not stop the ball as The Lions reduced the arrears to 1-2.

It was game on from there as The Lions showed more urgency and in added time, Ernest played a glorious cross-field pass to Damoo who eluded his marker and looked odds on to score the leveler. But in a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Monnaie, Damoo shot into the side-netting, much to the frustration of his teammates as his former team held on to the win.

Northern Dynamo coach Cliff Nolin was disappointed with the official after the match, saying his poor judgment almost cost the north Mahé team victory.

“I feel the referee got his penalty decision wrong as he was badly positioned and this gave The Lions an advantage. But we kept our calm to win. Overall we played well as we were well organised as we blocked their wing play in the first half and we penetrated their defence on numerous occasions in the second period as we pushed forward,” coach Nolin told Sports Nation.
As for The Lions manager Davis Khan, he was disappointed with his team’s performance.

“The players must realise that we are no longer in the second division and therefore they must show more responsibility and seriousness,” manager Khan said.

R. J-L.

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