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Football: Airtel Cup quarterfinals St Louis, LightStars, St Michel and Red Star Defence Forces progress to semis | 13 January 2020

Defending Airtel Cup winners LightStars saw off the challenge of reigning league champions Côte d’Or in a 1-0 win at Stad Amitié on Saturday while on La Digue, St Michel defeated Anse Reunion 2-1 in extra-time and on Mahé, Red Star Defence Forces had to come from behind to dump Northern Dynamo 6-5 in a penalty shoot and on Sunday, St Louis travelled to La Digue to inflict a 4-2 win over home team La Passe.

St Louis, LightStars, St Michel and Red Star Defence Forces have all progressed to the semifinals of the Airtel Cup to be played on January 31 and February 1. St Louis will meet LightStars and St Michel will clash with Red Star Defence Forces.


Cup holders LightStars sneak past Côte d’Or

Airtel Cup holders LightStars sneaked past neighbours and defending league champions Côte d’Or in a narrow 1-0 triumph at Stad Amitié to reach the semifinals of this competition.

The players of coach Ted Esther scored the all-important goal in the second period when they were awarded a penalty by referee Emile Fred and defender Noelson Jeannot stepped up but his spot kick was blocked by Côte d’Or goalkeeper Jean-Paul Lesperance though the Malagasy defender pounced on the rebound to tuck it home to seal the fate of the league champions in a 1-0 victory.


St Michel beat Anse Reunion in extra-time

SeyPearl Premier League leaders St Michel defeated Anse Reunion 2-1 in extra-time at the L’Union playing field on La Digue on Saturday afternoon to reach the semifinals

St Michel took the lead in the first half courtesy of a strike by their Malagasy striker Francis to make it 1-0 at half-time.

Anse Reunion though grabbed a late equaliser in the dying minutes of normal time through their latest Malagasy signing, striker Iavo for a 1-1 score after normal time which forced the match to go into extra-time.

Francis then bagged his brace with a smart header with three minutes remaining in the second period of extra-time to help his team reach the semifinals of this cup competition on a 2-1 final score.


Red Star Defence Forces sink Northern Dynamo in penalty shootout

Red Star Defence Forces had to come from behind to sink Northern Dynamo 6-5 in a penalty shootout at Stad Linite on Saturday afternoon after the match was locked at 1-1 after extra-time.

Red Star Defence Forces started brightly in this match as Malagasy striker Jocelyn Fenosoa made his long awaited return to the squad after a year out and a short spell with Malagasy side CNAPS.

Jocelyn went close in the 10th minute with a teasing free kick which swept across the Northern Dynamo goalmouth before goalkeeper Ricky Pool could collect.

Jocelyn though was unlucky not to break the deadlock in the 34th minute from a beautifully weighted pass by Malagasy Clariel to him as he held off two Dynamo defenders but he rifled the ball straight at goalkeeper Pool.

The army team had another decent scoring opportunity in the three minutes of added time in the first half when Malagasy Tojo, the league’s top scorer, played a sweeping ball in the Dynamo penalty area to Darrel Damoo but defender Stan Esther produced a last ditch clearance to prevent a clear goal scoring opportunity.

Red Star Defence Forces were furious with referee Egbert Havelock on the stroke of half-time as they felt Dynamo defender Ahmed Maurice’s strong challenge on Tojo warranted a penalty as the official blew for half-time instead of a spot kick.

Dynamo though should have won a clear penalty in the 54th minute when Red Star Defence Forces defender Errol Bacco handled Francis Moumou’s long throw-in but referee Havelock turned a blind eye.

Red Star Defence Forces nonetheless had a glorious chance to take the lead in the 74th minute as Jocelyn countered and glided past Dynamo defender, Gambian Modou Jallow and he unselfishly laid the ball on a platter to Damoo who amazingly shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

Red Star Defence also rode their luck in the 88th minute when goalkeeper Danny Larue gave the ball away to Dynamo’s Kevin Estico who looked odds on to lob the ball into an empty net but surprisingly he shot wide for a bad miss and the match had to go to extra-time as it was at a 0-0 stalemate after normal time.

Dynamo went ahead at the end of the first period of extra-time after Malagasy Rajamana combined with substitute Carlos Onezime who threaded a pass to him allowing him to bore on goal and slot the ball past goalkeeper Larue to make it 1-0.

Red Star Defence Forces drew level three minutes into the second period of extra-time (108th minute) though very controversially as Rashim Padayachy should have been penalised for a clear foul on Onezime but referee Havelock did not signal and the midfielder quickly collected the loose ball to spread a pass to Jocelyn who raced past a couple of defenders before smashing the ball low into the bottom corner to level the score at 1-1.

Jocelyn almost netted a second in the 118th minute as he created havoc in the Dynamo penalty area and his goal bound shot was cleared in the nick of time on the goal line by retreating Jallow to send this match into a penalty shootout.

Dynamo’s Jallow and substitute Joshua Adeline both scored the two opening spot kicks for Dynamo while Jocelyn and Tojo also netted to leave the score at 3-3 before Rajamana saw his penalty saved as his soft shot was pushed out by goalkeeper Larue to give Red Star Defence Forces the advantage and Rashim Padayachy and Clariel all scored to keep their team in front though Francis Moumou and substitute Gambian striker Musa Njie also tucked home his team’s fifth spot kick to leave the score at 5-5. But Red Star Defence Forces defender Aubrey Farabeau stabbed home the last spot kick past goalkeeper Pool to send his team to the semifinals of the Airtel Cup at the expense of Dynamo on a 6-5 aggregate scoreline and their manager Philip Barbé was just pleased that his team had seen off this tough opponent who was eager to spoil the party for their former coach Cliff Nolin.

“We had expected a tough match from Dynamo who had beaten us in the league, so we played a very cautious game and rode our luck to fight back to win and we are quite happy with the result,” the Red Star Defence Forces manager related to Sports NATION.

For his part, Dynamo manager Nigel Michaud-Payet was disappointed with the final result and also felt the official did not do them justice with some vital decisions in this very interesting quarterfinal encounter.

“We had aimed to win this competition for the second time and we felt that the official made two big mistakes as he denied us a penalty and also failed to punish a clear foul in the build-up to our opponents’ equalising goal but we will work hard to bounce back in our next league match,” the Dynamo manager stated.


St Louis sink La Passe

St Louis sunk La Passe 4-2 to reach the semifinal of the Airtel Cup yesterday afternoon at the l’Union playing field.

Malagasy Tahiry gave St Louis a 1-0 lead but Malagasy Florent equalised to make it 1-1 and he put La Passe in the lead at 2-1 at half-time.

St Louis then suffered a major blow when their goalkeeper, Malagasy Michel, clashed with his countryman Florent and both players had to be transported to hospital.

St Louis’ latest import Nigerian James Joseph levelled the score at 2-2 and young St Louis forward Hubert Jean scored twice to help his team to a 4-2 victory to lead them into the semifinals of the Airtel Cup.


R. J-L.

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