After a lackluster 1st half Renown SC produced three unanswered goals in the 2nd half to win 4-1 against Golden Rise SC in their 2016/17 FA Cup Round of 32 clash at the Zahira College Grounds, Aluthgama.
The division II side Golden Rise progressed from the Round of 64 after their loss against Highlanders SC was reversed, to a 3-0 win, after it was found that Highlanders had played with more than two Army players in that match. Renown too was given a walkover against Young Birds SC from the Mulativu FL.
The uneven and poor ground conditions hampered the flowing game of Renown as they struggled to piece together meaningful attacks in the initial minutes. On the other hand it was the intended effect that the hosts wanted to minimize the attacking threat from Sri Lanka’s topmost ruthless side.
However as the game progressed Renown negated the difficulties while using the wings more often – patrolled by two new and bright stars in Mohamed Mujeeb and Mohamed Asath. With the experienced Mohamed Fazal and Mohamed Rifnaz playing upfront they would take the lead with 15 minutes to go to half time when Rifnaz struck from inside the penalty box to beat Avishka Fernando at his near post.
Fernando tipped over Asath’s looping header moments later as Renown threatened to extend the lead.
Mohamed Yazry squandered a huge opportunity when he mistimed a free header at the far post minutes later but on the stroke of half time the hosts would equalize sending the crowd into a frenzy.
Mohamed Ijab gave away an unnecessary free-kick near the halfway line and the delivery in between the goalkeeper, Mohamed Uzman and the defence caused confusion as Farhan Marikkar took advantage of it to head in the equalizer as the hosts went into half time believing in an upset.
Half time – Golden Rise SC 1 – 1 Renown SC
However things were quickly turned around as Renown took the lead seconds into the 2nd half. A devastating counter attack saw Rifnaz sending a cross towards the far post finding an unmarked Asath who headed in an easy goal.
Renown would still have a few nervy moments – one where another miscommunication between Uzman and Hakeem Kamil saw Mohamed Shiyam taking a shot on goal, only to be denied by a block from Uzman.
Controversy once again prevailed with Fazal extending the Renown lead to 3-1 in the 77th minute. In the build up to the goal assistant referee Mohamed Arshad raised the flag for an off-side, which was clearly not, as the ball came off a Golden Rise player and into the path of Mujeeb who sent in the cross for Fazal. However referee Dayan Sendanayake overruled the linesman and waved play-on though the hosts had already stopped play expecting the off-side.
The players protested but the goal stood as they understood the mistake they had committed. However the spectators were not easily reasoned with as crowd troubles and pitch invasions caused the match to be halted for a few minutes.
After play resumed Golden Rise could not rise above their mistakes and make a comeback as Renown put the final nail in coffin deep into injury time. Rifnaz sent in a free-kick form the right which found Fazul Rahuman to head in a rare goal.
Full time – Golden Rise SC 1 – 4 Renown SC
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Mohamed Asath
A satisfied and proud Head Coach of Golden Rise SC Mohamed Imthias added;
“Renown is a very good team. We are just a minor team. We first wanted to cut their goal scoring which we did in the first half. We only played one forward in the 1st half. We added one more in the 2nd half because we believed we could make something out of this. Our players played really well than we expected in front of a huge crowd,
On the controversial goal;
“It was a mistake from our players. We should have played for the whistle which we didn’t. That is a basic all players have to follow, play for the referees whistle.”
A disappointed Renown Head Coach Mohamed Amanulla added;
“People who ask football to be played in these sorts of grounds don’t know football. When a player gets injured playing in these sorts of conditions it is the club and player who will suffer. Players careers will be over.
Though he was impressed with his youngsters;
“This was Asath’s first match, played a good game in this ground. Ijab also playing at center-back today was good. We are short of a proper striker that is a concern, but the way our new guys play we have confidence going forward.”
Golden Rise SC – Farhan Marikkar 45+2
Renown SC – Mohamed Rifnaz 30’, Mohamed Asath 46’, Mohamed Fazal 77’, Fazul Rahuman 90+6’