Java Lane was high on morale after a strong FA Cup performance in which they emerged runners up and were tipped to beat the young Crystal Palace side.
The much awaited and talked about 2017 Dialog Champions League will kick-off on the 2nd of September.
Both teams settled in quickly into the match showing no signs of rustiness. It was Crystal Palace who edged ahead slightly in the opening exchange. Isaac Aba had the first shot on target as he jumped high to head the ball towards the goal but the angle was easily covered by Java Lane goal keeper..
The teams used the width of the grounds by attaching through the wings. Revin Kumar made a scintillating run in the left flank but his cross went unmet as the Java Lane attackers failed get a touch on the ball.
Crystal Palace despite being the better of the two, failed to deliver the crosses to trouble the oppositions or the scorecard as the Java Lane defenders did just enough to keep them in check.
As the half progressed both teams looked tired and the flow of play lost its impetus.
Java Lane won a free kick from a dangerous position but the skipper 10J couldn’t get the ball past the wall.
The match which started positively finished in a rather tentative manner.
Half Time : Java Lane SC 0 – 0 Crystal Palace FC
Both teams looked revived after the much needed half time break and looked to get an early goal to gain advantage.
Naveen Jude was quick enough to get to the through ball but failed to hit the target as it went over.
Crystal Palace made it count when the opportunity arrived in the 51st minute. Aydeji Tunde found the skipper Mohamed Raufan with a long ball who showed great control and composure to stop the ball. Raufan sleekly moved past the defender and slotted the ball into the net to give Crystal palace the lead.
Java Lane, shell-shocked by the goal, took time to get back as Crystal Palace dominated the possession with ease. Java Lane added some fresh legs to change the attacking dimension including benching their skipper Mohamed Rizkhan, gaining momentum slowly.
Mohamed Shafraz had the easiest of opportunities when Naveen Jude won a significant header for him. Despite doing well to skip past defender, Shafraz bottled the chance as he dragged his shot wide.
Java Lane attacked from all sides in the dying stages but the goal keeper of Crystal Palace, Nadeeeshan Fernando was up to the challenge as he made some brilliant saves to keep the lead intact. Notably, he made a double save to stop a certain goal from Naveen Jude from 10 yards out.
Crystal Palace safely negotiated the last few minutes to earn a hard fought away victory.
Full Time : Java Lane SC 0 – 1 Crystal Palace FC
ThePapare.com player of the Match – Nadeeshan Fernando (Crystal Palace FC)
Talking to ThePapare.com, the Coach of Crystal Palace FC Mr. Sunera Suraweera was all smiles,
‘It was an amazing win to start off the campaign beating Java Lane in their home turf. We had a few problems financially and also when it comes to grounds facilities. But we stuck together and hard work paid off. We have a lot to improve. We will analyse our mistakes and come back to the next game’
Java Lane SC Coach was unavailable for aftermath comments, but the team Coordinator Suranga gave his comments,
‘It was an unexpected result. We practiced really well coming into the game. Our defenders did their job well but we missed lot of opportunities up front. We will rectify all the mistakes for the next game. The skipper got substituted because he made couple of mistakes and we thought it is better to include fresh legs for him. It’s a team game after all. We are still confident, today was not just our day’.
Crystal Palace FC – 21C 51′
Crystal Palace FC – 30C 51′
Java Lane SC – Sandaru Perera In Mohamed Rizhan Out 66’, Mohamed Najeebdeen In Mohamed Shamraz Out 82’
Crystal Palace FC – Mohamed Ifam In Riyas Ahamed Out 46’, Zareek Ahamed In Basith Ahmed Out 79’