Gateway College, Colombo were crowned International Schools Football U20 Championship winners after beating Gateway College, Kandy 3-0 in the final at the Beddagana Football Complex.
Gateway College Colombo beat British School in Colombo, while Gateway…
This was a rematch of the 2016 final, where Gateway Colombo won. Gateway Kandy kicked off, but it was the boys from Colombo who had the first real opportunity with a strike across the box, but goalkeeper Seshith Ariyawansa made a comfortable save.
Gateway Kandy grew into the game as the half wore on and were awarded with their first chance in the form of a free-kick, but it was struck just wide of the post.
The boys from Colombo struck first blood when Seshith rushed off his line to try and smother the ball, but Areeb Atheeq got there first and struck it past the onrushing keeper to make it 1-0 to Gateway Colombo.
Gateway Colombo almost doubled their lead before half time when a good cross struck into the opposition box was headed towards goal, but Seshith leapt and pulled off a good save.
Half Time – Gateway College, Colombo 1 – 0 Gateway College, Kandy
The second half got off to an even start, until the boys from Kandy got the first chance of the half through a free-kick just outside the box. Unfortunately for Gateway Kandy, the set piece was struck inches wide of the upright.
Gateway Colombo continued their domination of possession and got a number of great chances to kill off the game, however Seshith attempted to be a one-man army and pulled off some stunning saves to keep his side in it.
St. Joseph’s College came from two goals down in the final four minutes…
Colombo’s best chance came when Isa Fahim got the ball inside the box in front of a completely open goal, but somehow messed up the opportunity as he struck it wide.
Gateway Kandy were just as wasteful with their opportunities as they got a golden chance to equalize after breaking into the opposition box, but took one touch too many and the chance went a begging.
Gateway Colombo finally made the boys from Kandy rue their missed opportunities when a shot taken was yet again brilliantly saved by Seshith, but his defense failed him as Areeb was allowed to blast in the rebound to double the tally.
In the dying moments of the game, Herschelle De Mel struck the final nail into the Gateway College, Kandy coffin as he headed in their third goal of the game.
Full Time – Gateway College, Colombo 3 – 0 Gateway College, Kandy
Gateway College, Colombo Head Coach James Heath spoke about the victory;
“These guys train extremely hard, they are very dedicated. It has been a long-term project, some of these guys are really young but put in a lot of hard work and preparation. I am very proud of the team and believe we deserve this Championship.”
Gateway College, Colombo – Areeb Atheeq 24’ & 52’, Herschelle De Mel 58’
MVP of the Final – Areeb Niyas (Gateway College, Colombo)
Best Goalkeeper – Seshith Ariyawansa (Gateway College, Kandy)
Player of the Tournament – Binitha Chandrasena (Gateway College, Colombo)