Mauritius Edge Malawi

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar October 31, 2018 16:45

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Mauritius Edge Malawi

By Satish Sekar in Polokwane © Satish Sekar (May 28th 2018)

Defender Pascal Damien Balisson was the unlikely hero for Mauritius as the Indian Ocean islanders beat Malawi by his goal in the second match of the COSAFA Cup Group B double-header. Rustic defending apart Mauritius were worthy winners. Balisson scored after 13 minutes.

Mauritius were coached by a living legend, Francisco Filho. A journeyman as a player, the Brasilian made his mark in youth coaching. France’s Clairefontaine academy is rightly praised. It revamped French football after an unmitigated disaster in 1966 where Les Bleus not only failed to make it out of the group, but stood rooted to the bottom of that group.

It was seen as a national disaster – a disgrace even – but France owned that shame and learned from it. The result was the academy and it delivered quickly and repeatedly in an era when academies were few and far between, especially at national level. Filho was one of the great coaches of youngsters.

His legacy, however, is not limited to France. He also served as Sir Alex Ferguson’s deputy at Manchester United – developing the youth team there too. Filho inspired others too, including in Africa. He’s a treasure in his first job as Head Coach at 77 years young.

Midfielder Hansley Patate was the first of six players booked after 17 minutes. Two minutes later Richard Mbulu became the only Malawian to incur the referee’s wrath. With just over half an hour played Jean Fabrice Augustin was also cautioned – the last in the first half.
As Mauritius defended their lead in the second half the cautions piled up. Defender, Jonathan Speville, goalkeeper Kevin Jean-Louis, and Marco Dorza picked up cautions as Mauritius clung to their lead and a real chance of further progress as they shared top spot in Group B with Botswana.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar October 31, 2018 16:45