Football: Airtel Cup-Northern Dynamo keep qualification hopes alive


Dynamo now have 12 points – one less than second-placed Anse Reunion in pool B with both teams having one more game to play in this group.

Northern Dynamo had threatened to break the deadlock as early as the third minute when midfielder Collin Tirant burst through and got a lucky break but he hurried his shot when he had time to trouble goalkeeper Julio Toulon.

However, St Roch showed more purpose and created some decent opportunities as in the 13th minute when Steven Télémaque’s corner created confusion in Northern Dynamo’s penalty area. The ball broke to Malagasy Freddy Armand whose shot on the turn sailed narrowly wide.

A minute later, St Roch Malagasy captain Nestor Benahovy played a through ball to Dan Pharce who went down from a strong challenge but referee Emile Fred was not convinced it was worth a penalty.

In the 18th minute, captain Benahovy picked out his colleague Armand with a glorious long range pass to leave the Malagasy striker with a clear run at goal. But Armand failed to beat the
advancing goalie Jules Monnaie who did well to block the shot when he should have scored.

Northern Dynamo though slowly raised their game and in the 26th minute, Malagasy Asman Todisoa made a darting run inside St Roch’s penalty area and he sent in a teasing cross across the face of goal which captain Evans Télémaque could not direct on target.

Northern Dynamo opened the scoring in the 37th minute as Marcus Maria showed his skill to beat a defender and fire low past goalkeeper Toulon to make it 1-0.

Northern Dynamo were the better side in the second period and they extended their lead in the 50th minute when Brian Souyana brought down Francis Moumou. Referee Fred pointed to the penalty spot and Maria stepped up to send Toulon the wrong way for a 2-0 lead.

Maria twice had great opportunities to grab his hat-trick. In the 57th minute, Todisoa showed persistence as he reached the bye-line to cut the ball back to Maria who failed to connect with the goal at his mercy. Ten minutes later, Maria easily skipped past defender Denis Belle but he could not beat Toulon who had raced out to charge down his shot.

St Roch tried their best to reduce the arrears and had a very good chance in the 75th minute after a mêlée in the penalty area. The ball dropped to Armand who drilled his shot wide from a good scoring position.

Northern Dynamo sealed their comfortable victory in the third minute of injury time from a good break led by Maria who released Todisoa who unselfishly laid the ball to captain Télémaque and he walked the ball into the empty net for a 3-0 scoreline.

R. J-L.