A frustrating yet intense 8 month long 2016 Dialog Champions League ended with Colombo FC, after a slow start to the season, becoming back to back champions.
16 Points, 5 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss. When it mattered the most on the biggest of stages, Colombo FC were able to get the job done to beat Renown SC in the final showdown by coming back from a goal down to win 3-1 and retain the Dialog Champions League for yet another year.
Colombo FC retained their Dialog Champions League Championship with a hard fought, come from behind…
Things were out of their hands following their 1-0 loss to Blue Star in the penultimate game of the tournament, but a top-class performance against Army prior to that and their final week heroics against Renown ensured that they held on to their crown for yet another year.
Key for them was coach Mohammed Roomy being able to get the most out of a defence line up that featured Kumarasiri and Niran Kanishka in the right and left back positions. They conceded just 5 goals in the Super 8 stage, the least amongst the top 8.
Best Players – Momas Yapo, Zarwan Johar
Season Highlight – 3-1 vs Renown SC – Beat table leaders Renown with a defence comprised of Niran Kanishka, Rawme Mohideen, Mohamed Ramees and Vikum Kumarasiri in a high-pressure game to retain the championship trophy.
Season Low – 0-1 vs Blue Star – An uninspiring performance against the team from Kalutara took their fate out of their hands. They failed to create clear cut openings for themselves and an early goal from Farzeen consigned them to their only defeat of the Super 8 stage.
Read More : Blue Star ends Colombo FC unbeaten streak
15 Points, 5 wins, 2 losses. Yet another tournament in which Renown SC faltered at the final hurdle. Needing just a draw in the final game against Colombo FC, they failed to defend a 1-0 advantage, going on to lose 3-1.
A game which was billed to be the last banana peel in Renown SC’s way before their potentially title deciding…
Their opening week loss to Blue Star SC also proved to be a critical point at the end of the season. After getting a bit of luck to get the win against Army SC back to back wins against Solid SC, Air Force SC and Navy SC put them at the top of the table going into the final week.
The defensive partnership between ‘T-boy’ Francis and Hakeem Kamil looked a bit shaky right throughout the competition and despite the goals coming thick and fast at the other end, they ultimately could not end their trophy drought.
Best Players – Job Michael, Mohamed Rifnaz
Season Highlight – 2-1 vs Navy SC – A hard fought victory that sent them to the summit of the table. After going a goal down in the first half, second half goals from Rifnaz and Michael ensured Renown picked up an important win.
Season Low – 0-2 vs Blue Star – Lining up without key striker Job Michael, Renown were hustled and harried off the ball and ended up being humiliated on the opening night of the Super 8 stage.
Blue Star SC
14 points. 4 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss. For a team that only just about made it to the Super 8 stage, to have been able to maintain a title challenge right until the final game week was truly remarkable.
Blue Star SC sprung a surprise on favourites Renown SC, as a disciplined defensive performance saw them…
Massive results against Renown (2-0) and Colombo FC (1-0) ultimately didn’t count for anything as they lost to Army 7-3 in the final game, after going down 4-0 within the first 20 minutes.
Unfortunately, draws in their matches against Navy and Air Force in the middle of the Super 8s, left them with too much to do in the final game week. The problem for Blue Star was that they were inconsistent right throughout the tournament, as they were in the group stage, but all in all it was a great showing by the club from Kalutara.
Best Players – Idowu Hameed, Afonja Jibola
Season Highlight – 2-0 vs Renown SC – A tactical masterclass from Blue Star threw Renown off their game and they were able to nick a famous victory over one of the favourites to get their Super 8 campaign off to a flyer.
Season Low – 3-7 vs Army – Kamikaze defending on a difficult surface saw Blue Star fall 4-0 behind to the soldiers in a game where victory would have given them a big shout for the title. Though they did score 3 in the end, their poor defending resulted in their campaign fizzling out.
13 points, 4 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses. Army would have been disappointed by the way their Super 8 campaign went after enjoying an unbeaten run in the group stages.
They got off to a poor start though, with a draw against Air Force and having their 3-0 win over Renown overturned after it was found that Asikur Rahuman was played whilst under a suspension, was another key blow to their title hopes.
Blue Star SC saw their Championship hopes ripped into pieces after a marauding Army SC stormed to a 7-3 win…
They lost a closely fought game 2-1 to Colombo FC to lose all hopes of a DCL title just a week after the Renown decision went against them. Army really won’t be able to point to a single reason as to why they were unable to replicate their group stage form, but would be disappointed nonetheless. Scored 25 goals throughout the campaign, the highest in the division.
Best Players – Mohamed Issadeen, Sanka Danushka
Season Highlight – 7-3 vs Blue Star SC – A ruthless performance by the soldiers, demolishing Blue Star and their title ambitions on the final day of the season to end the campaign on a high.
Season Low – Playing Asikur Rahuman whilst suspended – A brilliant 3-0 win over Renown was soured by the revelation that Asikur Rahuman was in fact ineligible to play the fixture due to suspension. The FA reversed the result, and one of their best performances this season went to waste.
New Youngs FC
8 points, 2 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses. A great showing by New Youngs in a tournament in which they struggled to cope with injuries and the long drawn out nature of the Super 8 stage.
A great result in the first game week, in which they defended resolutely to force a goalless draw against Colombo FC, was backed up by a couple of good results at the end of the season against Air Force and Navy SC.
New Youngs FC recorded their first win in the 2016 Dialog Champions League Super 8 with a commanding 4-1 win against…
New Youngs can be happy about the way they performed in the Super 8s, being able to compete against some of the powerhouses and come away with 8 points.
Best Players – Hasitha Priyankara, Kaveesh Fernando
Season Highlight – 4-1 vs Navy – Thrashed a dangerous Navy team despite going into the game as underdogs. The result enabled them to finish in 5th place, a great result for the team from Wennappuwa.
Season Low – 0-5 vs Army – Were outclassed by a rampant Army team as they suffered their worst result of the season.
Air Force SC
5 points, 1 win 2 draws, 4 losses. Air Force would be upset at the way they played in the Super 8s after a promising group stage campaign.
They really should have beaten Army SC in their opening game, but after conceding a late equalizer they had to wait till their final game to pick up their first win against Solid SC.
Defensively they had a few problems throughout the tournament, especially when defending against pace and that was one of the reasons that forced them into 6th place at the end of the tournament.
Madushan De Silva scored with the last kick of the game as 10-man Army pulled out a remarkable 2-2 draw against Air Force SC…
Best Players – Nipuna Bandara, Kavindu Ishan
Season Highlight – 2-2 vs Army SC – Unlucky not to pick up all the points against a 10-man Army team as they came back from a goal down to lead 2-1 going into in to extra time. Unfortunately, a late equalizer from Madushan De Silva cost them the opportunity to get their Super 8 campaign off to a flyer.
Season Low – 0-1 vs New Youngs – Were dismantled by a determined New Youngs team in their final game of the season. Definitely a result they would want to forget in a hurry.
4 points, 1 win, 1 draw, 5 losses. Navy SC struggled to impose their style of play on the league and pick up the results they needed to finish higher up the table.
After a disastrous start, losing 5-0 to Solid in the opening week, they had to wait till the penultimate week to pick up their win, beating Air Force 1-0. They did show signs of what they can accomplish though, especially in their game against Renown where they led 1-0 and played very well only to lose 2-1 at the final whistle. They lacked speed throughout their campaign and struggled against many of the faster teams in the league.
Best Players – Chalana Chameera, Chathuranga Sanjeewa
Season Highlight – 1-0 vs Air Force – Got their first win of the season late in the campaign courtesy of a fine performance against Air Force to avenge their 4-1 loss during the group stage.
Season Low – 0-5 vs Solid SC – Got steamrolled in their first game of the Super 8 stage by a pacy Solid team.
4 points, 1 win, 1 draw, 5 losses. Solid SC were the worst affected by the multiple postponements and delays in the Super 8 stage and after a scintillating start, they ended the campaign struggling to find players to take the pitch.
The early kick off saw Navy SC locking horns with Solid SC from Anuradhapura in the DCL 16 Super 8 fixture. It was Solid SC who came out…
Injuries to Gnanaruban Vinoth and Thakshila Danoj combined with the absence of other players due to the start of the Mannar and Jaffna leagues meant that Solid could only field 7 players to start their final match against Air Force. They have reason to be more upset at the way the tournament was held than the way the campaign went for them.
Best Players – Ismail Abumere, Shanaka Prabodh
Season Highlight – 5-0 vs Navy – With their full squad of players available Solid showed they were a force to reckon with by crushing an experienced Navy team 5-0.
Season Low – Failing to field a full line up vs Air Force – At the peak of their problems right at the end of the season Solid were able to field just a team of 7 players to start the fixture against Air Force. A dismal end to their campaign which began with so much promise.