Football: Barclays league division one


. Côte d’Or beat Dynamo, St Francis and LightStars draw

La Digue-based La Passe brushed aside St Louis Suns’ challenge in a narrow 2-1 win at Stad Linite on Friday to maintain their winning run and on Saturday, St Michel travelled to La Digue and won 3-2 against Anse Reunion thanks to a Wilnes Brutus hat-trick.

St Michel’s hat-trick hero Brutus (left)

Also on Saturday at the Amitié Stadium on Praslin, Côte d’Or defeated visitors Northern Dynamo 2-0 and at Stad Linite, 10-man LightStars held St Francis to a goalless draw.

St Louis Suns v La Passe

Yves Zialor was La Passe’s hero as he scored a brace and ironically the former St Michel andLa Passe’s two-goal Zialor St Francis striker would not have been in the starting line-up if Malagasy Fagnorena had not been suspended.

As for St Louis Suns they were without coach Gregov Mladen and it was their two injured players, namely Denis Barbé and Mervin Mathiot, who were assuming the coaching role. The St Louis Suns management refused to reveal though if coach Mladen had been sacked.

La Passe took the game to St Louis Suns, one of their bogey sides, and in the seventh minute Malagasy Valerie played a chipped pass to Renick Esther who looked suspiciously offside but the former LightStars striker failed to connect with the goal begging.

Two minutes later, La Passe took the lead from a superb ball by Valerie to release his colleague Fredo who had exploited space on St Louis Suns’ right wing and his inch-perfect cross was headed home by Zialor to make it 1-0.

In the 14th minute, captain Achille Henriette sprung forward to thread a pass to Zialor whose near post shot was just kept out by goalkeeper Joel Lesperance who was playing despite a hand injury.

La Passe continued to keep St Louis Suns under pressure and in the 25th minute, Zialor dispossessed Roddy Melanie to feed Malagasy Fredo whose fierce shot was saved at the second attempt by Lesperance.

A minute later, St Louis Suns almost stunned La Passe after a brilliant piece of skill by Jonathan Bibi before picking out captain Trevor Poiret’s run but he delayed his shot allowing Verna Rose to clear the danger.

On the half hour, La Passe went close to extending their advantage when Renick Esther played a square pass to Joel Esther whose speculative shot from the edge of the penalty area was dropped by Lesperance but luckily for him it rolled into corner.

In the 38th minute, St Louis Suns were hard done by the assistant referee Gilbert Lusta who wrongly flagged Poiret offside as he latched onto Melanie’s through pass and was heading for goal.

As the game intensified La Passe should have gone two up when captain Henriette glided past Ernesto Doway with consummate ease to set up Renick Esther but from point blank range Lesperance did exceptionally well to deny him.

A minute later at the other end, St Louis Suns were awarded a dubious penalty by referee Bernard Camille as captain Poiret went down as goalie Dave Mussard raced out to stop him. The official felt there had been contact though most of those present at the stadium were in unison that it did not merit a spot kick. Poiret picked himself up to fire into the roof of the net to level matters at 1-1.

La Passe returned for the second half to undo this injustice and it took them only three minutes to regain their lead from Renick Esther’s cross to Zialor who controlled the ball before volleying it past Lesperance for a 2-1 score.

St Louis Suns tried to redress the balance in a pulsating half and in the 53rd minute, Ronny Rose centered to captain Poiret whose goal-bound header brought a good save out of Mussard.

A minute later, La Passe’s Mussard produced an even better save after Poiret’s corner was deflected by defender Jean-Paul Adela but his acrobatic save prevented a clear goal.

It was end to end stuff and on the hour mark, Zialor raced forward and shot at Lesperance who stood defiant even if he was in pain. However, La Passe strangely pulled off their two-goal hero Zialor in the 62nd minute to bring on Andrew Jean.

As for St Louis Suns they had a decent chance in the 76th minute as substitute Serge Asba picked out captain Poiret who should have gone for goal in a good scoring position but he squared the ball and there was no one to pick up his pass.

Three minutes later, La Passe also had a good scoring opportunity as Jean galloped down the right flank to pull the ball back to Renick Esther who allowed it to roll to Fredo who should have hit the target but he miscued his shot and it was charged down.

In the 82nd minute, La Passe again threatened as danger man Henriette did well to filter a pass to Renick Esther who eluded a tackle but inexplicably shot wide.

St Louis Suns should have drawn level in the 85th minute if not for a superb tip-over by Mussard as captain Poiret’s dipping header from Jonathan Bibi’s swerving cross was dropping into the net before the burly goalkeeper’s timely intervention.

In added time, the St Louis Suns players and fans thought they should have been awarded a penalty as defender Adela handled Ronny Rose’s cross but referee Camille turned a blind eye much to the disgust of the St Louis Suns camp who lost their third match on the trot.

Mervin Mathiot told Sports Nation he felt his teammates could have played better but also had chances to at least secure a draw.

This win extends La Passe’s unbeaten run in the league and strengthens their position at the top of the standing.

La Passe’s coach Bruno Saindini told Sports Nation his team did not play exceptionally well but did what was necessary as the three points were very important to consolidate their position, especially against a difficult opponent as St Louis Suns.

St Francis v LightStars

Ten-man LightStars held St Francis to a 0-0 goalless draw at Stad Linite on Saturday.

This was a very poor match especially St Francis who never looked the part as they played at a casual pace against a determined LightStars side who lacked quality but made up with their hunger.

In the 62nd minute, LightStars were reduced to 10 men when Marlon Ernesta was harshly sent off for a strong tackle on Stephane Esparon by referee Egbert Havelock, the second player he has sent off for the Praslin side in two matches.

Despite the deficit, LightStars showed more urgency and should have scored in the 87th minute as Kevin Prosper sprung the St Francis offside trap to shot under goalkeeper Andrea Libanotis’ body, but defender Harry Libanotis raced back to produce a last-ditch clearance on the goal-line

Anse Reunion v St Michel

St Michel’s Wilnes Brutus scored a hat-trick to inspire his team to a hard-fought 3-2 win against Anse Reunion on La Digue.

Brutus opened the scoring in the first half only for Anse Reunion’s Hubert Ernesta to level matters at 1-1.

Anse Reunion should have taken the lead before half-time as Samy Radegonde was brought down, but Yelvanny Rose’s spot kick was saved by goalkeeper Nelson Sopha.

Hubert Ernesta did give Anse Reunion the advantage early in the second half to make it 2-1 and the La Digue side dropped back to defend their lead.  This tactic proved fatal as Brutus found ample of space to score twice to turn the tide in St Michel’s favour at 3-2.

Côte d’Or v Northern Dynamo

Praslin side Côte d’Or were happy to play at the Amitié pitch and they made the most of the opportunity, beating visitors Northern Dynamo 2-0.
Rick Bibi opened the scoring in the second half and Dine Suzette condemned Northern Dynamo to their second consecutive defeat.

R. J-L.