Football: Airtel Cup-St Michel avenge defeat to La Passe, Lightstars and Anse Reunion win


St Michel beat La Passe

 TSARALAZA (no. 30) … two head goals for St Michel against La Passe

This was the clash of the two top teams here but sadly it did not draw a large crowd as expected though they provided good entertainment.

La Passe were the leaders of the group and only needed a draw to maintain their position and probably earn the privilege of playing the semifinal on home ground.

They drew first blood as early as the first minute from an inswinging corner by Malagasy Fredo Toranally which flew across goal with goalkeeper Nelson Sopha failing to clear.

St Michel responded in the fifth minute as Gino Agathine bore forward to centre to Malagasy Jean Del’Or Tsaralaza whose header sailed just wide of the goal.

Tsaralaza though showed his heading prowess in the 18th minute from Nelson Laurence’s curling corner which he met with a stooping header to beat goalkeeper Vincent Euphrasie to open the score at 1-0.

La Passe had to respond and in the 33rd minute, Achille Henriette went on a mazy run but his shot was diverted into corner and in the 37th minute, Malagasy Valerie Rakotoarinosy blasted a 35m free-kick agonisingly wide.

From a swift counter-attack, St Michel’s Alex Nibourette raced down the left win and glided past a couple of tackles to cross to Tsaralaza whose half volley was pushed into corner by Euphrasie.

La Passe drew level in the 43rd minute after a glorious cross-field pass by Jean-Paul Adela to captain Henriette in acres of space. Henriette exploited the free space to bore on goal and his teasing cross was bundled over the goal-line by Renick Esther though St Michel defender Nigel Freminot also got a touch to make it 1-1.

On the stroke of half-time, La Passe almost went ahead as Fredo linked up with Yves Zialor whose defence-splitting pass was latched on to by Renick Esther but Sopha was quick off his line to clear the danger.

St Michel brought on Gervais Waye-Hive for Gino Agathine but suffered a major blow in the 52nd minute with Alex Nibourette turning from hero to villain as he was shown a straight red card by referee Nelson Emile for a two-footed tackle on Joel Esther and they had to battle on with 10 men.

However, St Michel never lost their concentration but nearly regained the lead in the 66th minute as Waye-Hive pounced on a poor clearance by La Passe goalkeeper Euphrasie to release Wilnes Brutus but his control let him down.

Two minutes later, St Michel were awarded a non-existent free-kick on the edge of the penalty area but Waye-Hive fired his shot over the crossbar.
St Michel struck in the 70th minute just as La Passe made a double substitution, bringing on Garry Radegonde and Fagnorena for Zialor and Fredo. This lapse in concentration allowed St Michel’s captain Don Anacoura to float a neat free-kick which Tsaralaza intelligently headed past a hapless Euphrasie for a 2-1 lead.

La Passe huffed and puffed but only had a half chance in the 88th minute from substitute Andrew Jean’s free-kick which was met by Valerie with a free header but it lacked power to trouble Sopha as St Michel secured a win in difficult circumstances.

Anse Reunion thrash St Louis Suns

La Digue-based Anse Reunion ripped St Louis Suns apart in a 6-2 home win on Sunday.
Yelvanny Rose scored twice and Malagasy Eddy made it 3-0 before St Louis Suns’ Travis Jerome reduced the score to make it 3-1 at half-time.

Anse Reunion scored three more goals through Malagasy Hugo Sezou, Hubert Ernesta and Stanio Ernesta in the second half to bring the score to 6-1.

Elijah Tamboo scored a consolation goal for St Louis Suns late in the second half as they were soundly beaten 6-2.

LightStars edge St Francis

Praslin side LightStars edged St Francis 2-1 on Friday evening at Stad Linite.
LightStars took the lead in the 15th minute as Malagasy Sylvain Gashi, who looked suspiciously offside, fired past goalkeeper Andrea Libanotis to make it 1-0.

St Francis almost drew level on the half-hour mark from a former LightStars’ midfielder, Malagasy Malamo Ducaud, who curled in a free-kick which goalkeeper Basil Esther parried onto the crossbar before the danger was cleared.

In the 33rd minute, St Francis’ Malagasy striker Branliziz Ratovonirina burst through but goalkeeper Basil Esther was quick off his line to block the shot.

LightStars were denied a clear penalty in the 44th minute as St Francis’ captain Ronny Monthy played a poor back pass and Andy Brioche was pulled down for a clear penalty. Surprisingly, referee Egbert Havelock failed to award a blatant penalty kick much to the disgust of LightStars who had had to make two substitutions in the first half.

St Francis showed more determination in the second half and Mathias Confiance blazed wide a good opportunity in the 50th minute.

In the 53rd minute, St Francis levelled matters. Malagasy Henry Randriamanana lofted a corner kick and his colleague Branlizizi headed powerfully home for a 1-1 score.
Three minutes later, the same Branlizizi latched onto a through-ball but goalkeeper Esther did well to stop him in his stride.

Seconds later, Branlizizi held off a defender and his attempted lob sailed over the crossbar as goalkeeper Basil Esther was way off his line.

A minute later, LightStars had a great chance to take the advantage as Samuel Athanase did well to centre to Marlon Dugasse who missed a gaping goal.

LightStars though regained the lead in the 64th minute as Athanase’s cross was fumbled by goalkeeper Libanotis and Malagasy Haja Rakotoarinosy easily tapped in the loose ball to make it 2-1.

St Francis almost levelled matters in the 67th minute through Malagasy Haja but goalkeeper Esther made a brilliant save to deny him.

LightStars’ Athanase saw his 78th minute long range effort fly agonisingly wide.
St Francis’ best chance to equalise came in the 81st minute as Branlizizi played a pass to Rondy Onezime and he was at the end of the pinpoint cross but his clear header lacked sting to trouble goalkeeper Basil Esther as LightStars won all the points to keep St Francis rooted to the foot of the table.

R. J-L.