Geli Oya FC defeated the much fancied Ratnam SC 3-1 on penalties after the match ended goalless at full time to win the Premier League Division II Championship at the jayathilake Stadium, Nawalapitiya.
Ratnam SC and Geli Oya FC, both having booked promotion to Division I for the next year, locked horns in front of a packed stadium where majority were supporters of the nearby town Geli Oya which was more of a home game for them.
Geli Oya FC secured the title in what was a tight neck on neck game. At the end of the full time both the teams failed to score which dragged the game to a penalty shootout much to the delight of the crowd who were at the edge of their seats. Gelioya managed to win the shootout 3-1 due to some brilliant saves by their goalkeeper Mohamed Atheeq.
Once giants in Sri Lanka football, Ratnam SC has one final hurdle in the Premier League Division II in Geli Oya…
Ratnam were deemed favorites to win the title, they were once the giants of the premier division winning major titles. However they were demoted and now next year have a chance to prove their worth again and so will the champs Gelioya FC since they are a new looked side and are playing well at the moment.
The game started off in a lethargic manner where both teams were more concerned of having or rather securing position before trying to enter into an attack in the opposite half.
Ratnam got their first shot at goal in the 5th minute of the match. However it was straight into the hands of the goalkeeper who positioned himself well.
The match was intense and more accurately it was a more physical battle where at times they were lucky not have received a card for the fouls. Both the teams battled hard in the first half but the score sheet made no records of goals as both teams failed to score.
Half Time – Geli Oya FC 0 –0 Ratnam SC
With the start of the second half it was Geli Oya FC who took command. They secured more of the ball in the first 20 minutes of play. They almost scored through their Nigerian number 10 who looked threatening when he had the ball at his feet.
Geli Oya lost the plot in the dying minutes of play as Ratnam who adapted well came back strong. The golden opportunity of the second half came to the Ratnam striker who only had the keeper to beat which he failed. The keeper who charged for the ball made a good save without committing a foul which would have been a certain penalty.
Geli Oya FC got a free-kick in the extra added minutes which hit the posts and went away for a goal kick. With the end of the 90 minutes the game ended a draw therefore the referees decided that it was time for a penalty shootout to decide the winner of the tournament.
Full Time – Geli Oya FC 0 –0 Ratnam SC
Both teams failed to convert their first penalties. Geli Oya FC goalkeeper made a brilliant save to prevent the first penalty and the Geli Oya one went astray. Both teams converted the second penalty. Ratnam failed to convert the third penalty which Geli Oya put through with ease. Ratnam again failed which handed Geli oya with the opportunity to seal the game which they did.
Penalty Shootout – Geli Oya FC 3 –1 Ratnam FC
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Mohamed Atheeq (Geli Oya FC)
After the game the manager of Geli Oya FC, M. Fervin provided his thoughts to ThePapare.com;
“We are happy to be champions we always believed in ourselves that this was possible because of the fact that we played good football throughout this tournament. The crowd helped a lot as well who were behind us all the time.”
Geli Oya FC – Odel Evans, Mohamed Rusthi, L.D.Karunasinghe
Ratnam SC – K.K.Tiagou
Geli Oya FC – Mohamed Haseef 20’, S.K.Mohamed 62’, Adieu Issac 76’
Ratnam SC – Mohamed Musharaf 30’