Football: Barclays league division one-Côte d’Or outclass 10-man St Roch


The victory enabled Côte d’Or to climb to the top of the league table with 15 points, one ahead of La Passe who were to play The Lions yesterday.

Côte d’Or showed a lot of purpose in the first half and should have taken the lead as early as the eighth minute when footballer of the year, Malagasy Jean Tigana, robbed a St Roch defender of the ball to centre to Gerald Basset who miscued his volley from a good scoring position.

Two minutes later, Basset returned the favour as he held the ball before picking out Tigana’s darting run in the box with an inch-perfect cross but the diminutive Malagasy headed across the face of goal.

St Roch’s goalkeeper Julio Toulon gifted Côte d’Or a goal in the 15th minute as he cleared the ball as far as Dine Suzette who shot straight at the custodian. Goalkeeper Toulon pushed out the shot which rebounded off Suzette to find refuge into the net for a 1-0 lead for the Praslin outfit, leaving Toulon embarrassed.

Côte d’Or were unlucky not to stretch their advantage in the 24th minute as Malagasy Patrick collected Collin Esther’s throw-in and his shot on the turn grazed Toulon’s crossbar.

St Roch, who struggled to make an impression in this half, had a decent chance in the 29th minute as Alpha Baldé threaded the ball to Marcus Emilien who was clean through but he shot in the side-netting with the goal begging.

Côte d’Or added a second goal in controversial fashion in the 33rd minute as Tigana released Suzette who hesitated to latch onto the ball as he thought he was offside. But when assistant referee Gerard Pool failed to raise his flag, Suzette dashed to collect the loose ball to round Toulon and drill the ball home to make it 2-0.

However, St Roch were angry with the official and made their feeling known before  referee Emile Fred had to come across to the bench to take action.

St Roch raised their game in the second half as Baldé tried to pull the strings in midfield to create an opening.

As for Côte d’Or, they had to replace the injured Benoit Marie who gashed his shin after a tackle by Marcus Emilien and Steve Esther came on at centre-half alongside captain Jones Joubert.

St Roch’s bright start to the second period was undone when Leeroy Gomme was given his marching order by referee Emile Fred in the 65th minute for a crude tackle on Tigana. Gomme had to leave the pitch early as he had received his second yellow card.

Nevertheless, Baldé almost punished goalkeeper Kitson Cecile for an uncharacteristic mistake in the 72nd minute as he intercepted his poor throw out but just failed to lob the Côte d’Or goalkeeper.

Côte d’Or were also guilty of some bad misses such as substitute Renick Esther in the 77th minute who failed to tap home a Collin Esther’s cross-cum-shot which goalkeeper Toulon had spilled.

Three minutes later, Tigana also was denied by a superb point-blank save by Toulon after Renick Esther had laid the ball on a plate to him.

In the 83rd minute, Côte d’Or stretched their lead after a swift move involving Tigana and colleague Patrick who fed substitute Marcus Labiche who tucked home with aplomb to make it 3-0.

St Roch were unlucky not to reduce the arrears in the 85th minute as Marcus Emilien burst through on the right and his shot scrapped the crossbar.

Côte d’Or countered with pace as Labiche left a couple of defenders in his wake to set up Renick Esther who once again failed to hit the target.

St Roch again nearly cut the deficit in the 87th minute from an inswinging corner by Baldé which was met by Denis Belle as he beat goalkeeper Cecile to the ball. But captain Joubert was on the goal-line to make a last-ditch clearance.

On the stroke of full-time, Côte d’Or put the icing on the cake as Bernard St Ange played a glorious pass into the path of the overlapping Collin Esther who coolly slotted the ball over the advancing Toulon for a 4-0 scoreline.

R. J-L.