Update by Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports
Julien Deletraz (Etoile #18) scoring the first goal with his free kick. (Photo 1 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Queenstown Stadium, Thursday, March 11, 2010 - Fresh from their League Cup victory, Etoile FC demolished Woodlands Wellington 4-0 in their first home game of the S.League season. Etoile had earlier denied Woodlands the League Cup crown after they beat the latter 3-1 in the final.
Three early goals within the first 20 minutes set the pace for Etoile FC, as they left the visitors struggling to break into the offensive half. Julien Deletraz (Etoile #18) opened the floodgates with a free kick in the 8th minute, before Cyril Bagnost (Etoile #7) blasted a stunner past Woodlands Wellington goalkeeper Hafez Mawasi in the 14th minute.
Frederic Mendy (Etoile #12) tapped in a cross at the 21st minute to give the hosts a lead to sit back on. Mendy then scored his second goal for the game, and his third for the season, in the 51st minute.
However, Etoile FC's spectacular performance was marred by a bout of ill-discipline on the pitch. Woodlands Wellington, frustrated at being unable to score, were getting increasingly aggressive. A total of 13 yellow cards were flashed, nine to Woodlands Wellington and four to Etoile FC.
Woodlands Wellington captain Noor Ali's (#11) constant rants at the referee finally earned him a caution in the 58th minute. Teammates Luis Eduardo Hicks (#10, 30′), Winston Yap (#2, 43′) and Kazuki Yoshino (#4, 51′) also picked up their second yellow cards of the season. Etoile FC goalscorer Cyril Bagnost (Etoile #7) was also unfortunate to earn a yellow card, his second of the season, in the 59th minute.
A moment of controversy arose when Abdelhadi Laakkad (Woodlands Wellington #9) dramatically fell to the ground in the 72nd minute after an apparent challenge by Loic Leclercq (Etoile #5). Referee Sukhbir Singh consulted linesman Ahmad A’Qashah, before showing both players a yellow card. A furious Laakkad was then taken out and replaced by Nigel Vanu (#36), with the former openly expressing his anger.
Flavien Michelini (Etoile #17) also limped off in the 26th minute after an injury.
This win brings Etoile FC to second place with seven points, and a game in hand. Their next match will be on Sunday, March 14 against Home United at Clementi Stadium. Woodlands Wellington are third from last with two points. They next play Sengkang Punggol at home on Thursday, March 18.
Frederic Mendy (Etoile #12) crosses under pressure. Mendy scored a brace to bring his goal tally so far to three. (Photo 2 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Abdelhadi Laakkad (Woodlands Wellington #9) dribbles under pressure from Kevin Yann (Etoile #13) and Karim Boudjema (Etoile #11). (Photo 3 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Sahairi Ramri (Woodlands Wellington #5) clears a cross by Etoile. (Photo 4 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Mansour Lakehal (Etoile #6) fires towards the Woodlands goal. (Photo 5 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Karim Boudjema (Etoile #11) heads the ball clear away. (Photo 6 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Abdelhadi Laakkad (Woodlands Wellington #9) gestures in anger to Mansour Lakehal (Etoile #6). (Photo 7 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Abdelhadi Laakkad (Woodlands Wellington #9) on the attack as Loic Leclercq (Etoile #5) marks. (Photo 8 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Rachid Lajane (Woodlands Wellington #17) is brought down by Cyril Bagnost (Etoile #7) in the 59th minute. (Photo 9 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Cyril Bagnost (Etoile #7) being shown the yellow card for an unruly tackle. (Photo 10 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Kazuki Yoshino (Woodlands Wellington #4) being given a verbal warning by referee Sukhbir Singh. (Photo 11 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Etoile goalkeeper Brice Morandini (#16) rushes out to grab hold of the ball. (Photo 12 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Etoile fans packed the stadium, and cheered for the team as they enjoyed the carnival like atmosphere coupled with a fireworks display and performers. (Photo 13 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)