Once giants in Sri Lanka football, Ratnam SC has one final hurdle in the Premier League Division II in Geli Oya FC, on their journey to the Champions League.
Ratnam SC and Geli Oya FC, both having booked promotion to Division I, will clash for the Premier League Division II Championship on the 11th of February at the Jayathilake Stadium in Nawalapitiya.
ThePapare.com looks back at their division II campaign to see how they may perform in the final.
Road to the Final
Both sides had to come through a knockout stage to get into the group stage where they faced off against three teams.
Ratnam SC defeated Sunshine SC 2-1, Colpetty United 6-0 and Maligawaththa Youth 3-0 while getting a 3-0 walkover from Jet-Liners SC in the knockout stage.
They were placed in group B alongside Eleven Star SC, Great Star SC and Rathmalana United. In their first two games Ratnam booked a semi-final spot defeating Eleven Star SC 3-1 and Rathmalana United 2-1. With a 0-0 draw against Great Star SC they secured top spot to face Singing Fish SC who finished 2nd in group A.
In the two legged semi-final clash the lads from Kotahena trumped Singing Fish in Jaffna 2-0 and secured a 1-0 win at home to make it into the final with a 3-0 aggregate score.
Ratnam SC managed a narrow 1-0 victory over Singing Fish SC to ease through to the finals…
|Great Star SC||3||2||1||0||3||1||2||7|
|Eleven Star SC||3||0||0||3||2||8||-6||0|
Geli Oya FC who had a great 2015/16 FA Cup campaign defeated Anurudians SC 1-0, Young Marians SC 5-1, Young Mates SC 3-1 and Small Drydon SC 5-0 in a dominant knockout stage to get into group A.
However in the group stage they drew their two games 2-2 against Middle-X SC and Singing Fish SC which left them needing a win by a big margin in order to make it into the top two in the group.
With Middle-X and Singing Fish drawing 1-1, Geli Oya decimated Pioneer SC 9-0 to go top of the group and secure a semi-final spot.
In the semi-final Geli Oya took a 1-0 lead to their 2nd leg and drew 1-1 at home Great Star to make it into the final.
The 2nd leg of the first semi-final of the Premier League Division II tournament between Geli Oya SC…
|Geli Oya SC||3||1||2||0||13||4||9||5|
|Middle X SC||3||1||2||0||6||5||1||5|
What to Expect
Geli Oya FC is amidst two of their best year’s with a good run in the 2015/16 FA Cup campaign and now making it to division I. With good management and support they have become a club to be feared from the hill-country.
Though Geli Oya scored 14 and only conceded 2 in the knockout stage they failed to continue the dominance in the group stage. However they will have confidence after the 9-0 trouncing of Pioneer SC in the must win game.
Their goal scoring is of no question but they will need to strengthen the defence if they are to win the final and playing at home will certainly give them the edge against Ratnam.
Ratnam’s strength will be their defence where they only conceded 3 in 7 games, once in the 4 knockout games and twice in the three group stage games. Though they scored heavily in the knockout games they’ve been poor in front of goal in the group stage.
Interesting statistic is Ratnam have fared well away from home than at home. In three away games they have scored 5 goals and only conceded once, with two clean sheets so Ratnam will fancy their chances of lifting the trophy in Nawalapitiya.