Mohammad Fazleen’s solitary goal ensured Royal registered its first victory in the U19 Division I Tournament against Ananda at M.H.Mohammed grounds.
Both teams were yet to win a match coming into this game and had suffered heavy defeats at the hands of Zahira College. They were keen register their first victory.
Royal started off the proceedings and the quickest out of the two to come out of the blocks. The Reid Avenue boys pinned the Anandians in their half but weren’t able to create a proper scoring opportunity.
Knowing that Ananda College was on the back foot, Royal College changed from their usual 4-4-2 formation to 3-5-2 with center back and skipper Chathura Avishka going up.
The change reaped rewards instantly as Chathura Avichka sliced through the Anandian defence to find Mohammad Fazleen who slotted the ball into the net rounding off the keeper in the 21st minute.
Zahira College absolutely demolished visitors Ananda with a five star performance scoring 5 past the visitors in their U19 Division I…
It was all Royal after the first goal as the pressing attack tried to look for more. The efforts were scrappy and the chances created were not finished properly.
Chathura relished in his new role as he caused all kinds of trouble for the men in maroon. His deliveries gave Royal the chance to go 2-0 up but the effort lacked precision.
He took things to his hands as he tried his luck but the keeper was up to the task to save his efforts.
The Anandians got a foot on the match at last as they had their first shot at sight after 30 minutes, but the effort was safely negotiated.
Royal went into the break missing out on a number of opportunities despite getting a goal lead
Half Time: Ananda College 0 – 1 Royal College
The break revived Ananda College who looked clueless in the first half. They planned to pass the ball around and create some opportunities.
The match grew competitive as both schools displayed end to end football. Sensing the change of flow in the game, Chathura Avishka had to fall back to his usual position in order to stop the Ananda attack.
Despite the improvement in play, the finishing remained poor as both schools missed opportunity after opportunity to score a goal.
The Anandians had better of the opportunities compared to Royal who looked dangerously close to equalize with set pieces. The unsung hero of Royal College, Harindu, displayed another flawless display of hardcore defending to keep the lead intact.
As minutes passed by, Ananda tried hard, moving forward for the equalizer which allowed Royal space and opportunity to counter attack.
Naveen Jude who had a pretty silent outing till then displayed some good footwork as he danced through the defenders but his execution was poor.
At the dying moment, Chathura Avishka broke him free with a delicate pass but Naveen just couldn’t find the target as the ball went on only to trouble the bar.
Referee brought the match to end as Royal edged Ananda out 1-0 to register their first victory after two draws and a loss.
Full Time: Ananda College 0 – 1 Royal College
ThePapare.com Player of the match: Chathura Avishka (RoyalCollege)
Both teams have a lot to sort out after the match. The execution was one of the biggest letdowns of the match. Both teams require more composure in building up attack.
Royal College despite the sloppy performance in the second half will take the result with both hands while Ananda College continue their quest to register the first victory.
Royal College: Mohamad Fazleen 21’
Yellow cards – Ranasinghe. S.A.T.P 62’