Follow us on:

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube


Football: Caf Confederation Cup |10 October 2022

Football: Caf Confederation Cup

St Michel place foot in group stage


Seychelles’ Saint Michel stunned Congolese giants Daring Club Motema Pembe (DCMP) 1-0 in Mauritius on Saturday to put a foot firmly into the group stage of the 2023 Confederation of African Football (Caf) Confederation Cup

However, there is still plenty of work to be done because the return leg is yet to be played. This will take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital Kinshasa next Sunday.

St Michel were playing their ‘home’ first leg second preliminary round game on neutral ground in Mauritius due to the non-certification of their home ground Stad Linite for international matches.

Should St Michel emerge winners on aggregate score after the return leg, they will make history by becoming the first Seychelles team to qualify for the group stage of any football competition on the African continent.

It was a beautifully taken header by 21-year-old Josip Ravignia in the 54th minute that shocked the visitors and handed St Michel victory in an almost empty Côte d’Or Sports Complex Stadium in Mauritius.

Ravignia received a well-weighted pass from another youngster Neil Confiance who had ran into space on the right and lobbed the Motema Pembe defenders to place the ball right on Ravigna’s head who in turn calmly headed home.

The handful of spectators present, mainly Mauritians, stood in ovation as St Michel celebrated the goal which also turned out to be the only one of the match.

The Motema Pembe players looked bulkier, physically stronger and faster than the St Michel youngsters, but the Seychellois compensated for those qualities with dribbling skills, short and mostly accurate passes, clever play and passion.

Earlier in the game St Michel missed a clear chance to score when Francis Rafaralahy rounded the Motema Pembe goalkeeper, but he shot into the blue yonder in front of an empty goal.

The game was not without danger for St Michel because the Congolese hit the post twice and their goalkeeper Alvin Michel had to perform two of his best acrobatic moves on two occasions to clear shots destined for goal.

Had there been a man-of-the-match award, it would have gone to Mahaosy Del Pierrot who, along with all of his colleagues gave a brilliant performance.

However, St Michel’s fight for victory also brought some casualties in terms of yellow cards. Four players ‒ Kenner Nourrice, Alvin Michel, Julio Brown and Marlyn Ravoatrarilandy ‒ were all yellow-carded and should be careful in the return leg.

Giving his impressions after the match, St Michel coach Ralph Jean-Louis was elated.

“This was one of St Michel’s best games so far and I am very happy that the players stuck to the game plan,” he said, adding that it was a difficult game, nevertheless.

“I want to congratulate all the players for this achievement as well as the entire technical team and management who supported them. It was a real team effort,” he said.

Coach Jean-Louis acknowledged that the return leg in Kinshasa next Sunday will be much harder. “One good thing though is that now that we have seen them play, we are in a better position to work on a strategy that we hope would counter them,” he explained. “Mind you, they too will be doing the same thing about us.”

Asked how he felt having scored this important goal, Ravignia said he was happy that this came as his first official goal for St Michel since joining the club.

“I am happy that it came in this match and it will be remembered,” he said. “I would also like to pay tribute to all the players who contributed for this victory. I scored the goal, but they all contributed to make it happen.”

Confiance, who provided the decisive pass said he delivered it the way the coach taught him in training.

“I took my time, looked up and spotted Ravignia. I made sure that the ball had just enough weight and power to lob the Pembe defenders and land exactly where I wanted it to be,” he explained.

“This is how the coach asked us to do in training.”

St Michel returned home yesterday afternoon. They will leave on Wednesday via Ethiopia for the return leg in Kinshasa next Sunday.

Motema Pembe were given a bye in the first preliminary round of the Caf Confederation Cup






More news