Football: Cosafa Cup-Seychelles succumb to disappointing defeat


Alex Nibourette of Seychelles battles with John Gurty Earny Winny Calambe of Mauritius

Jean Stephan Pierre was a major thorn in the sides of the Seychelles defensive line as his brace helped sink our national side in their second group A match of the ongoing Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup. The final score was 4-0 in favour of our Mauritian neighbours, which would have left coach Jan Mak with plenty to work on when the team return home.

John Calambe and Louis Desire Pithia also got on the score sheet with a goal each at the Nkana Stadium in Kitwe with both Indian Ocean islands teams exiting the tournament after defeats to group winners Namibia who will face South Africa in the quarterfinals.

Mauritius were asking all the questions in the match early on and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring in the 14th minute.

Jean Pascal Desire lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Dave Mussard who was off his line and Calembe was on hand to slide the ball into an empty net to make it 1-0.

Nine minutes later Mauritius made it 2-0. Louis Desire Pithia beat his man on the right wing and sent a cross to the back post which was volleyed home by an unmarked Jean Stephan Pierre with a low left- footed shot.

In the 26th minute, the Seychelles team showed some character and had their best passage of play when Mauritius keeper Aboo Bakar Augustine pulled off a double save to deny them a chance of pulling a goal back.

There was drama in the 33rd minute when Steve Henriette denied Mauritius a goal when he stretched out his hand to block a header towards goal. Henriette was sent off and Mauritius were awarded a penalty.

Seychelles keeper Mussard denied Mauritius’ star man Louis Laval Pithia from the penalty spot, but he could do nothing when the player scored on the rebound from his initial effort to make it 3-0.

In the 72nd minute, Mauritius got their fourth goal and Pierre his second of the match as he out-sprinted his marker and coolly slot the ball at the back post with a delicate left-footed shot.
Ten minutes later, Pierre could have got his hat-trick when he rounded the keeper but saw his effort go across the face of goal from a tight angle.

Two defeats may be hard for the new-look Seychelles team to swallow, but the experience gained by some of the squad’s younger players must be very valuable.
It is hoped that this outing will help the Seychelles team re-establish themselves as the top football nation in the region.

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