Football: Airtel Cup-St Michel, Côte d’Or, LightStars win


Ten-man St Michel edge St Francis

Airtel Cup champions St Michel edged St Francis 1-0 at Stad Linite on Friday in a fiercely contested match, especially in the second half. St Francis did not deserve to lose and were right to feel aggrieved with the officials who did not give them the break their performance deserved.

St Michel dominated the first half against a St Francis side who had fielded all their three Malagasy players.
However, the first half did not produce any goal though there were five yellow cards in the bruising battle.

St Francis’ new Malagasy Branli Zizi Ratovorinina was proving to be a thorn in the St Michel defence and in the 54th minute he was allowed to get away by referee Jean-Claude Labrosse with a push in the back of Nigel Freminot, but Branli Zizi fired wide of goalkeeper Gino Melanie’s goal.
Seconds later the same Branli Zizi caused havoc in the St Michel defence and he beat Melanie with a shot but Dereck Agathine cleared on the goal-line as the score remained goalless.

St Michel pounced on a defensive lapse in the 64th minute as St Francis gave the ball away cheaply. Henny Dufresne picked up the ball to chip a pass to the galloping Wilnes Brutus. St Francis goalkeeper Bertrand Morel made a cardinal sin of racing out of his goal and was duly punished by Brutus who shot low to open the scoring at 1-0.

As St Francis tried to regroup, St Michel’s substitute Andy Mougal latched onto a through pass in the 68th minute only for his toe poke to sail over the crossbar.

St Michel continued to push men in attack and in the 83rd minute Mougal raced onto a long ball over the defence to beat the St Francis offside trap but his strong shot was pushed out by Morel.

St Michel were reduced to 10 men in the 87th minute as Dufresne was shown a second yellow card for a late tackle and referee Jean-Claude Labrosse gave him his marching orders.

A minute later, despite being a man down, St Michel should have killed off St Francis’ resistance as Mougal centred to Brutus who allowed goalkeeper Morel to save his close range shot when the goal was at his mercy.

St Francis threw everything in attack and on two occasions in the dying minutes had strong appeals for a penalty turned down by a stubborn referee Labrosse.

Deep in injury time, referee Labrosse really angered the St Francis camp as he once again denied St Francis a blatant penalty as goalkeeper Melanie jumped all over Roddy Monthy. But inexplicably referee Labrosse did not award a penalty and this really annoyed the St Francis players as St Michel held on for a win.

After the match St Francis’ Ryan Antat was issued a red card as he had a go at the officials.

Quincy lose to LightStars

This was a match LightStars were expected to win but Quincy made life difficult for them as they worked hard to deny their opponents time to dwell on the ball. 

LightStars’ two-goal man Malagasy Haja RachoarinosiLightStars found Quincy a difficult nut to crack but in the 12th minute Malagasy Mano Ravo found space after Bertrand Lablache had back-heeled the ball to him but Jason Fred was alert to block his shot.

Three minutes later, LightStars’ goalkeeper Basil Esther parried a long ball as far as George Ravinia who laid it to Herve Toulon who fired just wide.

In the 30th minute, the same Ravinia curled in a corner which crashed onto the crossbar before the danger was cleared.

In the 34th minute, Quincy’s Toulon hustled for the ball and his cross hit the hand of Malagasy Sylvain Anrianjindoavon and referee Emile Fred pointed outside the penalty area much to the dismay of the Quincy camp.

Five minutes later, Quincy were awarded a penalty after Ravinia’s strong free-kick had crashed on the hand of Malagasy Sylvain and this time round, referee Fred pointed to the penalty spot. Jerry Freminot stepped up and blasted the back past goalkeeper Esther to make it 1-0.

Two minutes later, LightStars almost draw level as Sylvain floated a free-kick to Fabien Albert whose diving header produced a great save out of goalie Trevor Bill.

LightStars got a rollicking from Malagasy coach Allison Jean Damien at half-time and they came out stronger for the second period and should have drawn level in the 46th minute as Malagasy Haja Rachoarinosi raced onto a through ball but he took his shot too quickly and blazed the ball wide.

LightStars though drew level in the 49th minute as Quincy stopped playing when Ravo fought for the ball with a defender. As Quincy expected a foul, Ravo bore on goal and his cross was turned into an own goal by Quincy’s Malagasy defender Anito Tahaka, who was making his debut, to make it 1-1.

The goal spurred LightStars on and in the 55th minute Quincy goalkeeper Trevor Bill was lucky not to be sent off as he brought down Ravo in full flight but referee Fred awarded only a free-kick.
In the 62nd minute, Ravo showed his skill but his shot was tipped over by Bill.

Quincy regained the advantage in the 70th minute as Jerry Freminot chased a long ball and pounced on a defensive error by captain Perry Nibourette to round goalkeeper Esther and score for a 2-1 lead.

LightStars’ Ian Vel was so frustrated that he decided to walk off the pitch which was an unacceptable gesture by him and he was replaced by Henry Dugasse.

The Praslin side equalised in the 80th minute though the goal was filled with controversy. Haja was clearly offside but assistant referee Petrousse did not raise his flag and the Malagasy blasted the ball into the roof of the net for a 2–2 score.

In the 82nd minute, Quincy were denied a good opportunity to regain the lead as Freminot skipped past a string of defenders but assistant referee Frank Aglaé raised his flag for an offside against Aubrey Songoire who was yet to touch the ball.

To add insult to injury LightStars scored in the 86th minute as Fabien Albert glided past a couple of defenders to cross to Haja who bundled the ball over the line for a 3-2 final score.

Côte d’Or keep winning

Pool B leaders Côte d’Or of Praslin defeated La Digue-based Anse Reunion 2-1 on Praslin on Saturday at the Amitié pitch.

Former The Lions striker Dine Suzette opened the score in the first half for a 1-0 lead, but Malagasy Hassan Ali levelled the score at 1- 1 with a well struck free-kick.

Côte d’Or though were not to be denied as Malagasy Mazinot Valentin scored a late winner.

R. J-L.