As soon as the game finished Freddy was sat in the dressing room with the team, pondering his words. He’d decided they’d go for it ‘We’re halfway through the season, we’re top of the league and we’ve only lost one. I won the upcoming cup last season and it was really special, there’s nothing like cup football, so I’m expecting you to put the same effort in to this cup as you have done in the league so far’
The League Cup was one of 3 competitions Core d’Or were in with a chance of winning, and Freddy didn’t want them to let up in any of them. Revengers, second in the league and pushing Cote d’Or all the way and seemingly only playing for the league were beaten 2-0, Freddy’s old team Dynamo went down 3-0, last seasons runners up Foresters let in 4, Rovers put up a bit of a fight as they narrowly lost 2-1 before St Louis were bested 4-2 en route to Cote d’Or topping Group A and drawing St John in the semi final.
The team were creating chance after chance in every game and looked like winners right from the off, ignoring the loss to Revengers earlier in the season. Despite this the players seemed nervous heading into the first leg of the semi final. Freddy tried to put them at ease by telling them how he got Northern Dynamo ready for the semi final last season, however Cote d’Or are the favourites, whereas Dynamo weren’t, and all he had to say last season was the pressure was all on their opponents, but this time he knew the pressure is all on his team.
Once the game kicked off and the nerves were settled Tigana ran on to a through ball and put Cote d’Or into an early lead. The lead lasted 13 minutes as St John equalised. From then on the game was end to end with both keepers earning their wage, sorry, their appearance fee, there’s no contracts in The Seychelles football league.
Half time came and in the dressing room Freddy reminded the players they’re better than their opponents and it will only be a matter of time before the next goal goes in. It was exactly 8 minutes after the restart when the third goal of the game went in, although it was Henriette for St John who curled a shot under the bar to give them a surprise lead.
Screaming instructions from the touchline nothing seemed to work for the Cote d’Or players. Losing possession easily, outmuscled at every second ball, nothing coming off and it looked like the pressure had actually got to the Cote d’Or players. A couple of substitutions finally made something work in their favour however, as Barra linked up with Tigana and played a one two to release Adeniyi out wide, he whipped in a low cross that went right passed everyone but Tigana hit it at the far post to equalise for Freddy’s team.
The game ended 2-2 and this result was a carbon copy of the semi final Freddy had last year, albeit a different opponent. Freddy and Dynamo went on to win the cup last time and the feeling was they weren’t in this game for much of it, they would need to improve in the second leg to progress.
The second leg was nothing like the first. Everything worked, they looked dominant from the first whistle right to the last and hardly put a foot wrong all game. This showing would surely help them for the rest of the campaign was the feeling in the dressing room afterwards. They were playing well despite the first leg, and getting to the League Cup final, second for Freddy, was cause for optimism. Their opponents in the final would be St Louis, who have lost both meetings with Cote d’Or up that point.
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