FA Cup 2017 semi-finals, enlivened in the 2nd halves with Colombo FC staging a comeback against Army SC, while Java Lane SC and Saunders SC went into penalties to decide the winner.
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ThePapare.com has chosen the XI who were worthy enough to be named in the ‘Team of the Semi Finals’ for the FA Cup 2017 which comes in a 4-3-3 formation.
After a poor performance, compared to his previous high standards, in the quarter final where his error gifted Blue Star SC the opener, the former Sri Lanka goalkeeper was back to his best with a few excellent saves. Though he was helpless for Naveen Jude’s equalizer and in the penalties he kept Java Lane out on numerous occasions in normal time and marshaled his defence well.
He has been impressive in the last few months for Java Lane with his solid defensive output and on the night after sustaining a head injury early in the first half braved through the pain to dominate the left.
The veteran Dumidu Hettiarachchi’s new center-back partner played the arduous task of marking the nippy Naveen Jude. Apart from the instance where he lost the marker to allow the equalizer, he had a solid game and will be good for the future of Saunders.
The leader at the back was once again at his best, like in the quarter final. Organizing the defence to doing the basic to the point and his no nonsense defending has been a feature in Java Lane’s road to the final. In the absence of his usual center-back partner Chamara De Silva, his performance was even more vital and needed.
He was given the task of containing the Army left wing which had the likes of Madushan De Silva and Sajith Kumara and did not fail his coach Mohamed Roomy, though unfortunate to be on the losing side.
After being starved off any possession, in good positions in the first half his double saw Colombo FC come from 2-0 down to make it 2-2 setting up a thrilling finish.
Chaminda outmuscled Sanoj Sameera in midfield giving Java Lane the advantage after a nervy start in their first ever FA Cup semi-final. His distribution and inter play between Rizkhan Faizer was a treat to watch.
Surprisingly was left on the bench but Roomy was forced to bring him on in the 26th minute after Colombo FC conceded two quick goals. His inclusion completely changed the game for Colombo FC who had little to none creativity going forward, though they had the better possession against Army. He controlled the game well for the Dialog Champions League winners.
The veteran, who never seems to be out of form, scored another hat-trick and has now taken his FA Cup 2017 goal tally past ten goals. Though he should have scored from a couple of chances his two early goals gave the advantage for Army and was at the right place at the right time to score the winner.
The creative force for the Price Park boys but none at the front was able to make the chances into goals. Discipline will always be a talking point of his game but awareness and passing was very good against Java Lane and took advantage of the Dammika Senerath fumble to score the opener.
He scored another vital goal when Java Lane desperately needed and calmly converted his penalty in Java Lane’s flawless penalty shootout. Naveen was always busy getting into position and running at the defence. The former Royalist getting into the best position, after shrugging off his marker, for the equalizer showed how well he has matured in the last 12 months.