In a rematch of the 2016 Dialog Champions League Football decider, Colombo FC once again prevailed 2-1 over Renown SC, a game marred by a questionable decisions, in the City Football League president Cup semi-final at the City Football Complex.
Even before the kick-off the City Football Complex was packed to the rafters in anticipation of an exciting game where Renown were in search of revenge while Colombo FC had the opportunity to further cement their status as Sri Lanka’s no.1.
Colombo FC came up trumps when it mattered most, picking up a 3-0 win in a clash of the heavyweights…
The game kicked off in a high tempo as Colombo FC took an early lead. Zarwan Johar whipped in a free-kick, which would have been an easy collection, but Uzman Hameed fumbled the ball into the path of Nagur Meera who headed in from close range.
Couple of minutes later referee Lakmal Weerakkody awarded a penalty to Renown after Mohamed Fazal was fouled on the edge of the box. However after a discussion with the assistant referee Weerakkody changed the decision to a free-kick on the edge of the box. Renown were unable to make use of the good opportunity.
In an exhilarating encounter where the game was played at a rate of knots both sides played beautiful football on a very difficult ground.
Referee Weerakkody was once again at the center of attention when he only produced a yellow card, for what looked like a red card offence, after Colombo FC goalkeeper Mohamed Imran fouled Job Michael in a one on one situation on the edge of the box.
That sparked furious scenes on the pitch and on the sidelines with Renown players and Head Coach Mohamed Amanulla berating the referee. Amanulla even threatened to take the players off the pitch but after much effort from the officials play went ahead.
After it calmed down, from the resulting free-kick Renown went level when Fazal’s delightful ball was punched onto the upright by Imran and Mohamed Mujeeb tapped the ball into the goal on the rebound to spark even more jubilant scenes on the touchline.
Tensions were high and so was the quality of play despite a few questionable calls. After the 1 minute break due to the heat, Nagur Meera sent the ball across the goal after a lung bursting run into the box but Uzman divided to save a certain goal.
Renown SC scored three unanswered goals in the 2nd half to win 4-1 against Cooray SC and with it book a…
Zarwan was creating mayhem in the attacking third with his distributions and free-kicks. With him pulling the strings Colombo FC re-took the lead when the constant pressure produced a defensive error from Uzman and Tboy Francis.
Francis headed back for a ball which Uzman ran ahead to collect and the goalkeeper could only get a hand to it as Afis Olayemi was on hand to score to an open net.
Zarwan was again the architect as his back flick found Dilan Kaushalya who in-turn fed Olayemi but his effort trickled just wide off the far post.
Half Time – Colombo FC 2 – 1 Renown SC
The 2nd half did not prove to be as intense as the first 45 minutes but there was no lack of quality of football and decisions which made heads turn.
The 2nd half was time for Colombo FC Head Coach Mohamed Roomy to show his frustration as the inconsistency of decisions given saw Roomy’s patience boiling over on the sideline.
Renown did have the better of the chances with Michael firing straight at Imran on the volley from a Mujeeb cross while a header from a Fazal free-kick went just over the crossbar.
In the dying minutes Imran punched away a swirling ball from a Fazal thunderbolt while second half substitute Mohamed Rifnaz fired his left footed effort just over on the rebound from a another Fazal free-kick.
Full Time – Colombo FC 2 – 1 Renown SC
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Zarwan Johar
Mohamed Roomy, Head coach of Colombo FC had this to say;
“I am pleased how we played today because I took the decision not to play one of my key players in Momas Yapo. That was because we need to prepare for the FA Cup where we can’t play any foreigners. We now have confidence after defeating Renown and going into the important FA Cup rounds.
Both sides played really well and there is no question about how my friend Aman (Amanulla) prepares his side, so that is why we saw high quality game from both sides.”
Colombo FC – Nagur Meera 6′, Afis Olayemi 44′
Renown SC – Mohamed Mujeeb 18′
Colombo FC – Nagur Meera 8′, Mohamed Imran 16′, Dilan Kaushalya 26′, Niran Kanishka 69′, Rawme Mohideen 77′
Renown SC – Job Michael 15′, Fazul Rahuman 61′
Colombo FC – Ahamed Shazny (in) Nagur Meera (out) 57′, Thusith Lanka (in) Ahamed Shazny (out) 84′, Mohamed Shifan (in) Dilan Kaushalya (out) 90+2′
Renown SC – Mohamed Rifnaz (in) Mohamed Saajid (out) 46′, Mohamed Murshid (in) Mohamed Mujeeb (out) 87′