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Football: SeyPearl Premier League |02 March 2020

St Michel, Côte d’Or win, two matches called off

2018 league champions Côte d’Or returned to haunt Red Star Defence Forces with a 4-1 triumph at Stad Linite while on Friday afternoon at Stad Linite, league leaders St Michel defeated La Passe 2-0 to open a four-point gap at the top of the standings.

On the other hand, the St Louis versus Revengers match was postponed at the last minute and the Anse Reunion versus Northern Dynamo game was also called off both for lack of officials.


Côte d’Or return to haunt Red Star Defence Forces

Current league champions Côte d’Or thrashed Red Star Defence Forces 4-1 at Stad Linite on Saturday afternoon for their second victory on this army team after they floored them in the SFF Cup last Saturday at home.

Côte d’Or started brightly as they took the lead in the 9th minute from a well-struck free kick by their latest Malagasy star Charles Rakoto who curled the ball onto the Red Star Defence Forces crossbar and with the army team’s defence slow to react, Malagasy Kassah drilled home the loose ball to make it 1-0.

The highly skilful Rakoto was a thorn in the Red Star Defence Forces rear-guard and in the 15th minute, he collected a pass from captain Collin Esther and fired the ball across Malagasy goalkeeper Bastia Eddit’s goalmouth.

In the 21st minute, Côte d’Or went further ahead as captain Esther blocked a pass and Malagasy Jonas played a glorious through ball to Rakoto who stabbed the ball past the advancing goalkeeper Eddit to make it 2-0.

Côte d’Or went close to adding a third two minutes later as Perry Monnaie and Rakoto combined to carve open the army team’s defence and goalkeeper Eddit made a brave save to charge down Monnaie’s shot.

Red Star Defence Forces then came back in the match with Malagasy captain Jocelyn’s inswinging free kick which was spilled by Côte d’Or goalkeeper Jean-Paul Lesperance and Errol Bacco latched onto the loose ball but could not force it over the line though Darrel Damoo shot the loose ball into the net but the goal was quickly disallowed for a correct offside call by assistant referee Hensley Petrousse as Praslin-based Côte d’Or went for the break with their 2-0 lead.

Red Star Defence Forces reduced the arrears three minutes in the second half though somewhat controversially as Benoit Marie cleared the ball for a throw-in but referee Bernard Camille awarded a corner which was floated by Malagasy Tojo and Jocelyn got a touch before the ball hit the arm of Monnaie for a clear penalty decision.

Tojo stepped up to take the spot kick and he powerfully thumped the ball past goalkeeper Lesperance to bring the score to 1-2 but Red Star Defence Forces then shot themselves in the foot as defender Gino Agathine was caught in possession in his own penalty area as he tried to dribble past Monnaie who robbed him of the ball on the hour mark and the burly striker rifled the ball into the bottom corner to restore his team’s two-goal cushion at 3-1.

Monnaie though was lucky not to be sent off as he needlessly fought for the ball with Red Star Defence Forces defender Michel Souris after he had scored and both were booked though Monnaie should have received a yellow card minutes earlier for kicking the ball away after the whistle had gone for an offside decision against him but the official was rather lenient and only had a word with him.

Red Star Defence Forces had to fight back and in the 70th minute, Tojo’s corner dropped to Mangel Adonis whose fierce shot from close range was charged down by goalkeeper Lesperance at the far post.

Côte d’Or sealed the fate of their opponents in the 76th minute from Rakoto’s short corner to Benoit Marie on the edge of the penalty area and the latter’s shot was blocked and he picked up the loose ball to float it in the box where substitute Andy Brioche forced the ball into the net with his first touch to make it 4-1.

The goal knocked the stuffing out of Red Star Defence Forces who suffered their seventh loss in the league and are eighth in the standings whereas Côte d’Or are third and are fighting to retain their title though their hopes are slim as they are 10 points behind league leaders St Michel but coach James Barra was still determined to chase the current league leaders when he spoke to Sports NATION.

“We played well especially in the first half and could have scored more goals in this match as we are determined to try and catch up with the league leaders and we aim to win our remaining matches,” Côte d’Or coach Barra told Sports NATION.


St Michel extend lead

SeyPearl Premier League leaders St Michel extended their lead at the top of the table thanks to a brace by Malagasy Francis to inspire his team to a 2-0 victory over La Digue side La Passe on Friday afternoon.

La Passe had their moments in the first half through their Malagasy striker Florent who had a couple of decent chances but he was stopped in his stride by goalkeeper Jalyl Servina before Francis thumped past goalkeeper Ian Ah-Kong in the 24th minute after he had been teed off at a free kick by his countryman Hassan Aly to make it 1-0 at half-time.

Francis had a gilt-edge opportunity in the 51st minute from Antonyo Ratafina’s cross but he miscued his shot and the ball fell to Norris Bibi but he failed to hit the target.

Two minutes later at the other end, La Passe put a string of passes together to release Elton Monnaie who blasted a fierce shot at goalkeeper Servina who was equal to the task and Monnaie had another better chance in the 58th minute from a well-weighted pass by Malagasy Rhino but he shot across the face of goal.

St Michel added a second goal in the 63rd minute from a lofted free kick by Norris Bibi where Francis rose the highest to steer his header into the net for his brace and a 2-0 lead for his team.

Bibi should have killed off the contest a minute later as he latched onto Aly’s through ball but he shot straight at goalkeeper Ah-Kong.

La Passe were lucky not to be reduced to 10 men when defender Kenny Constance elbowed Francis in the face in the 74th minute and referee Egbert Havelock hesitated before awarding a yellow card and then took some more time to consult his assistant Hensley Petrousse before they decided to award a free kick but it did not avail to anything significant and it did not matter as St Michel won to open a four-point gap on second placed Foresters and their manager Andrew Jean-Louis was happy with the result.

“It was a tough match as our opponents had some good scoring opportunities but we scored which gave the players confidence and we managed the game well to collect a crucial win against a tough opponent,” St Michel manager Jean-Louis told Sports NATION.

As for La Passe coach Bruno Saindini, he was disappointed with his players as they failed to convert the numerous chances they had created to lose their fifth consecutive match.

“It was a balanced match where we had the better chances but we did not take them and lost to two set pieces which is very disappointing,” said La Passe coach Saindini.


R. J-L.



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