Football: Airtel Cup-St Michel return to winning ways


St Michel v The Lions

Anse Aux Pins-based St Michel returned to winning ways as they registered a hard-fought 2-1 win over The Lions courtesy of a brace from their skipper Don Anacoura on Saturday at Stad Linite.
This match kicked off at 5.30pm on Saturday but still it drew a decent crowd to witness this great rivalry between these two teams.

ANACOURA … scorer of St Michel’s winning goalSt Michel started brightly as they dominated the first half and in the 19th minute the young and promising Darwin Rosette centred to captain Don Anacoura who headed the ball into the path of Malagasy Jean Del’Or Tsaralaza who blazed his shot wide.

Three minutes later, Anacoura forced a good gave out of goalkeeper Jerome Dingwall from Patrick Bonne’s throw-in which he met with an overhead kick.
A minute later Del’Or should have connected to Gervais Waye-Hive’s teasing cross in front of The Lions goalmouth.

St Michel kept pressing for an opener and in the 33rd minute Hassan Aly rifled a strong shot straight at goalkeeper Dingwall after being set up by colleague Del’Or.

St Michel got the breakthrough in the 41st minute as Del’Or started the move linking up with Aly who played the ball to Waye-Hive who headed into the path of Del’Or who had continued his run. The Lions goalkeeper Dingwall raced out to cut out the pass but he brought down Del’Or for a penalty which was rightly awarded by referee Bernard Camille.
Captain Anacoura stepped up to send Dingwall the wrong way for a 1-0 lead at the break.

St Michel almost went further ahead in the 49th minute with a superb free-kick by Aly but Dingwall did enough to turn the shot over the crossbar.

Surprisingly, The Lions decided to have a go at St Michel and in the 62nd minute they thought they should have benefited from a penalty as Dave Max turned Julio Denousse inside out before being tackled by defender Bonne and went down. But referee Camille was not convinced it was worthy of a penalty.

The Lions’ pressure paid dividends though in the 67th minute as Rachim Padayachy exchanged passes with Randolph Lablache before shooting low past goalkeeper Gino Melanie to make it 1-1.
St Michel nearly regained their advantage from the restart as the impressive Hassan Aly bore forward to pick out Del’Or who failed by inches to convert from close range.

The Lions also had a glorious chance to take the lead in the 80th minute in a very entertaining second half as they countered. Malagasy substitute Antonio picked up a long ball to play a one-two with Lablache but he thumped his shot over the crossbar when he should have hit the target.

St Michel scored the clincher in the 85th minute after some good work by Aly who broke clear on the left to combine with substitute Andy Mougal before crossing to another substitute Nigel Hoareau. Hoareau’s shot was fumbled by goalkeeper Dingwall and captain Anacoura was on hand to drill the loose ball into the net to secure a 2-1 win for St Michel.

La Passe v St Louis Suns

St Louis Suns should have won this match on La Digue on Saturday as they led La Passe twice but had to be content with a 2-2 draw.

Malagasy Falirina had given St Louis Suns the lead with a curling free-kick which beat goalkeeper Dave Mussard for a 1-0 advantage in the opening minute for a 1-0 advantage.

La Passe though leveled matters at 1-1 in the 11th minute through Collin Bibi as St Louis Suns appealed for an offside but assistant referee Jean Ernesta kept his flag down despite.

St Louis Suns restored their lead in the 27th minute from the penalty spot after referee Kierens Yocette awarded them a penalty as Kenny Nibourette brought down Fabien Cadeau. Nigel Ferminot fired past goalkeeper Mussard to make it 2-1 at half-time.

St Louis Suns though cracked late in the second half as Bibi scored again with a half-volley in the 87th minute to save his team’s blushes for a 2-2 scoreline.

LightStars v Northern Dynamo

Northern Dynamo came from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw against LightStars on Praslin on Saturday.

The boys of coach Alison Jean got off to a perfect start as Malagasy Mario Ravo gave them a 1-0  lead from the penalty spot after referee Nelson Emile had pointed to the spot.

Bertrand Lablache stretched LightStars’ lead in the second half to make it 2-0 as the Praslin side looked to be heading for a rare win.

But Dynamo fought back through player of the month Marcus Maria who hit the crossbar in the second half before equalising from the penalty spot for a 1-2 score.

Dynamo pressed LightStars and were eventually rewarded as Malagasy Asman Todisoa scored late in the game to secure a 2-2 draw for a share of the spoils.

R. J-L.

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