Football: Barclays league division one-Mathiot hat-trick seals St Francis’ fate


MATHIOT … St Louis Suns’ hat-trick heroIt was St Francis’ third defeat in as many matches while St Louis Suns registered their first win in this season’s Barclays league division one.

St Louis Suns broke the deadlock as early as the ninth minute when Carlos Simeon combined with Malagasy Farinirina Rakotoarimanana whose teasing centre was met by captain Mathiot to make it 1-0.

St Louis Suns should have doubled their lead in the 17th minute as Jean-Paul Aglaé slipped a pass to Malagasy Farinirina who sneaked behind St Francis’ defence but in a one-on-one situation with goalkeeper Andréa Libanotis he shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

Two minutes later, controversy loomed large as referee Jean-Claude Labrosse gifted St Francis a dubious penalty as he adjudged that Steve Henriette had fouled Malagasy Branly Zizi Ratovonirina.

It was a harsh decision when seconds earlier St Louis Suns’ Simeon had not been awarded a foul as he was pulled back by Malagasy Hery in the build-up to the penalty.

St Louis Suns were furious with the official but Branly Zizi kept his cool to beat goalkeeper Joel Lesperance to level matters at 1-1.

In the 22nd minute, St Louis Suns thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Farinirina was pushed in the back by Adrian Constance as he was about to head Serge Asba’s inch-perfect cross. But referee Labrosse was not convinced.

St Louis Suns had a great chance in the 26th minute to restore their advantage from Yannick Julie’s floated pass over the St Francis defence to Denis Barbé but his lob fell into goalkeeper Libanotis’ gloves when he should have hit the target.

In the 39th minute, Simeon ran at the St Francis defence and he was pulled down in the penalty area but once again referee Labrosse gave the infringement but he placed the ball on the edge of penalty box, denying St Louis Suns a clear penalty.

St Louis Suns hit St Francis with two sucker punches early in the second half on two successive swift counter-attacks.

In the 48th minute, Barbé broke clear and his inviting cross was rammed home by captain Mathiot at the far post to make it 2-1.

Three minutes later, St Louis Suns’ Travis Laurence dispossessed Trevor Vidot to release Mathiot who slotted the ball into the net for a 3-1 score as he completed his hat-trick.

St Francis had no choice but to push forward but were lucky not to concede a penalty in the 75th minute as captain Ronny Monthy upended substitute Elijah Tamboo with his first touch but the official turned a blind eye.

St Francis should have cut the deficit in the 80th minute as Malagasy Hery latched onto a through ball but goalkeeper Lesperance blocked his shot which rebounded to him but his second attempt was cleared by a retreating Nigel Freminot.

In injury time, after frustrating St Francis, St Louis Suns almost added a fourth goal as the impressive Yannick Julie fed substitute Tamboo who made space to fire at goalkeeper Libanotis who just managed to parry his shot.

St Louis Suns’ Travis Laurence almost gave away a stupid goal in the third minute of injury time as he gave the ball to Malagasy Hery who bore on goal but his pass was far from the reach of his teammate who was annoyed with him for wasting a good opportunity to reduce the arrears.

In the end it was a sweet victory for St Louis Suns over their former coach Marc Mathiot and also for assistant coach Patrick Cafrine who is now with St Louis Suns after guiding St Francis to the top flight in 2010.
Coach Mathiot bemoaned to Sports Nation his team’s lack of concentration.
“It was a balanced match but our lack of concentration cost us the match as we gave away some sloppy goals. As long as we don’t follow instructions and assume responsibility on the pitch, we will continue to suffer such results,” a disappointed coach Mathiot said.
As for St Louis Suns’ assistant coach Cafrine, he said he was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We started well but the official gave them a questionable penalty which affected our play. But we managed to put things right in the second half and overall I’m satisfied with our performance and the result,” Cafrine said.

R. J-L.


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