Football La Passe biggest winners in National Champions League |20 January 2023
La Passe are the biggest winners so far in the National Champions League which started last week after the completion of the first round followed by a three-week break.
La Digue-based La Passe beat Defence Forces 3-1 in their first match last Saturday and they are set to play Anse Reunion in a La Digue derby tomorrow at Stad Amitié on Praslin.
Anse Reunion will be going into tomorrow’s game knowing that a second defeat will hurt their chances of finishing among the best as they lost their first match 1-2 to St Louis.
Mahé-based St Louis are in action again today against Côte d’Or who were held to a 1-1 draw by Pointe Larue Bazar Brothers in their first match. The same Pointe Larue Bazar Brothers team were to take on St Michel yesterday. In their first encounter, St Michel played out a 1-1 draw against Foresters who are to play Defence Forces tomorrow.
There are eight teams in the National Champions League and they will play each other in a double round robin league on a home and away basis, making it a total of 56 matches.
The champions of the National Champions League will qualify for the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League.
The competition started last year with three pools of six teams each in the National Premier League. Only the top two teams in each of the three pools after the six teams had played each other twice in their respective groups automatically qualified for the National Champions League. In this case: winners St Michel and runner-up Defence Forces (Mahé group 1), winners Foresters and runner-up Pointe Larue Bazar Brothers (Mahé group 2), winners La Passe and runners-up Côte d’Or (Inner Islands).
The two best third-place finishers among all three groups ‒ St Louis and Anse Reunion ‒ also qualified to make up the count of eight teams in the National Champions League.
The SFF has said it will bring the number of teams in the National Champions League to 10 at the start of the 2023/2024 season when the Championship winners and runners-up are promoted to the top flight.
In the Mahé Premier League play-offs involving teams who did not make it to the National Champions League, Anse Royale have been kicked out after already losing two matches by walkover, while Real Maldives returned to their senses to beat Bosco 4-0 after having lost their first match against Bel Air by walkover.
Real Maldives had said they would not take part in the second part of the league competition as they were unhappy with their ranking at the end of the first round of the National Premier League.
Both St Louis and Real Maldives finished with 17 points after playing 10 matches in the two-round league in the Mahé group 2. While Real Maldives got five wins, St Louis had four and Real Maldives were of the view that because of the higher number of wins, they should have finished third in the group. But according to the Seychelles Football Federation, league matches are played according to normal regulations. In the case of Real Maldives and St Louis, the third place finishers were determined on goal difference.
Real Maldives finished fourth with 17 points ‒ 5 wins, 2 draws and 3 defeats ‒ and a goal difference of +4 (16 goals for and 12 against), while St Louis took third place also with 17 points ‒ 4 wins, 5 draws and 1 defeat ‒ and a goal difference of +17 (27 goals for and 10 against).
As for Bel Air, they have collected all their six points and four goals after two wins by walkover against Real Maldives and Anse Royale.
Bosco FC won their first match on a 3-1 score against LMS.
Bel Air, Bosco FC, Northern Dynamo, LMS United, Real Maldives, Mont Fleuri and Anse Royale are the seven teams involved in the Mahé Premier League play-off which will be contested on a double round-robin league.
In the Inner Islands play-offs, only one match has been completed so far, with LightStars hammering Santos 9-0 on Tuesday this week.
As for the first match scheduled for January 12, Revengers were leading 3-0 against Santos before the encounter was called off early in the second half due to a waterlogged Stad Amitié.
The three teams from the Inner Islands group ‒ LightStars, Revengers and Santos ‒ shall play a quadruple round-robin league and the team finishing last shall be demoted to the subsidiary league.
Meanwhile, in the 10-team Championship which started last year, Glacis edged Mont Buxton Veterans 4-3 on Wednesday after Tuesday’s encounter between Beau Vallon and Bel Ombre was postponed.
The 10 teams in the Championship are Rovers, Beau Vallon, Glacis, Bel Ombre, Persévérance, West Boys, Mont Buxton Veterans, Marine Maintenance, Tigers and Au Cap. They have been involved in a double round-robin league totalling 90 matches.
The winners and runner-sup will be automatically promoted to the National Champions League at the start of the 2023-2024 season.