Football: SFF Cup | 06 July 2020
Côte d’Or, La Passe, Revengers qualify for quarterfinals
Defending league champions Côte d’Or, La Passe and Revengers made it to the quarterfinals of the SFF Cup over the weekend in contrasting styles.
Côte d’Or edged Championship One side St John Bosco 1-0, Revengers got a second half hat-trick from Danio François to beat Real Maldives 4-1 and La Passe earned a convincing 3-0 away victory over LightStars.
Côte d’Or struggle to sink St John Bosco
Premier League side Côte d’Or struggled to knock out promotion chasing St John Bosco in a narrow hard fought 1-0 victory at Stad Linite on Saturday afternoon.
Côte d’Or though had started brightly as Malagasy Charles Rakoto threatened to open up Championship One club St John Bosco in the 14th minute as he eluded two defenders but he missed the target by a few inches with his raking shot.
St John Bosco then gifted their opponents the opening goal in the 17th minute as their defender, former Au Cap skipper Dean Balette, played the ball to striker Ivan Cedras who slipped the ball to colleague Dave Brioche who in turn fired the ball past goalkeeper Duane Romain to make it 1-0.
Pointe Larue-based St John Bosco had a decent chance to draw level in the 20th minute when Côte d’Or captain Collin Esther lost the ball to Graham Cafrine who fed his captain Randolph Elizabeth but he shot across the face of goal.
Cafrine also wasted a gilt-edge opportunity in the 26th minute after some good approach work by Malagasy Jules Rapiera in midfield to pick him out with a through ball but the former St Michel wingback could not direct the ball on target from close range as he lost his footing.
Côte d’Or though should have added a second goal on the stroke of half-time from a long ball by Benoit Marie in defence to Cedras who flicked the ball into the path of Malagasy Kassah who was clean through but Dean Balette produced a great recovery tackle to deny a clear goal scoring opportunity.
St John Bosco showed more attacking intent in the second period as they surged forward and were hard done in the 62nd minute when they were denied a clear penalty by referee Kerens Yocette after Cafrine was upended by Herve Cesar in the penalty area but the official turned a blind eye as St John Bosco players appealed for a penalty.
In the 70th minute, Rapiera laid the ball to Denilson Rosette who let fly a cracking shot from 35 metres out but Côte d’Or goalkeeper Neddy Lesperance just managed to turn the ball round the post into corner.
Despite being under pressure, Côte d’Or had a superb chance to stretch their lead in the 75th minute from substitute Jones Joubert’s cross-cum-shot which got goalkeeper Romain to crash into the post and the loose ball dropped nicely to Kassah but he shot tamely into Romain’s grateful arms.
Côte d’Or just managed to hold on to their lead to reach the quarterfinals but their manager Andre Bedier admitted it was a tough match.
“It was a very difficult match against an opponent that had nothing to lose whereas our team, we have not had the best of preparation. It seems also that my players underestimated St John Bosco who gave us a hard time and I must congratulate them,” said Côte d’Or manager Bedier.
As for St John Bosco coach Vivian Bothe, he was quite satisfied with the performance of his young team who are targeting promotion to the Premier League this season.
“We tried to contain our opponents so as to analyse their game plan, but we changed tactics in the second half where we controlled the match and it was a good showing especially as we have not had any test matches, except for one against St Louis before this cup tie,” explained the St John Bosco coach.
Ten-man Revengers down Real Maldives
Ten-man Revengers came from behind to floor Championship One league leaders Real Maldives 4-1 at Stad Amitié on Saturday afternoon inspired by a hat-trick by Danio François in the space of 21 minutes.
Coach Don Anacoura’s Real Maldives took the lead in the 28th minute as Revengers defender Antoine Charif gave away a penalty which was tucked home by Nick Labiche for a 1-0 lead at half-time.
Revengers suffered another setback when Charif picked up a second yellow card for a reckless tackle on Malagasy Asman Todisoa to receive his marching orders from referee Elderick Adelaide in the 63rd minute.
However, the players of coach Neddy Rose fought back with 10 men as Danio François levelled the score at 1-1 in the 68th minute.
François bagged his brace in the 76th minute for a 2-1 score before grabbing his hat-trick in the 84th minute to complete a turnaround for the Praslin team.
Revengers completed the comeback in the 92nd minute when substitute Marco Dubel made it 4-1 the final score to delight coach Neddy Rose.
La Passe dump LightStars
La Digue side La Passe dumped LightStars out of the SFF Cup with a convincing 3-0 triumph at Stad Amitié on Friday afternoon to move into the quarterfinals of this competition.
Last year’s finalists La Passe went ahead in the first half courtesy of a strike by Malagasy Rhino for a 1-0 score at the interval.
Malagasy Marthelin extended his team’s advantage midway in the second period before substitute Kevin Radegonde sealed the win with a third goal late on for a 3-0 win for the players of coach Bruno Saindini.