Kinniya Central College held off a 2nd half comeback from Hameed Al Husseinie College to win their first match 2-1 at the Chandra Silva Grounds in the U18 Division I Schools’ Football Championship 2018.
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Boys from Husseiniya Street came into this season and the match with a lot to prove after a disappointing last season while Kinniya Central boys were looking to build on their quarter final finish in their first ever season in the top division.
From the kick-off it was the visitors who pushed bodies forward and came up with a goal in the very 1st minute. A punt up to the Hameedia danger area bounced high and the approaching goalkeeper slipped allowing the ball to bounce over him. Rifkhan Ahamed had the pace to reach the ball first and slotted home into the empty net giving the visitors the best possible start.
Hameedians were not phased out with the early blow as they restarted the game with confidence. They started to press into the Kinniya Central goal with multiple corners. The hosts used the long throw effectively and caused several problems for the visiting defenders.
Skipper Mohamed Sahan of Hameedia was dictating the tempo of the game from the midfiled as the home team was in control, Kinniya Central on the other hand were clearing their lines. Mohamed Zulfar was booked in the 15th minute for a rash challenge on the left flank. This gave a rare opportunity for the Kinniya boys to attack.
In the 17th minute a Hameedia attack broke down and the ball cleared off and was lofted towards the Hameedia goal. The two central defenders were put under pressure by Mohamed Ahsan, as the defenders failed to clear the ball which gave a sniff to the attacking forward who then managed to lob the ball over goalkeeper Mohamed Nuskan to take a 2-0 lead.
Kinniya Central midfield marshaled by Mohamed Mihshan were physical in their approach and gave no time on the ball to the Hameedia players. Kinniya Central goalkeeper was hardly tested and had only long-range efforts to deal with without much trouble.
Visitors could have made in 3-0 just before the break but Rifkhan Ahamed failed to convert another through ball.
Half Time – Hameed Al Husseinie College 0 – 2 Kinniya Central College
The start of the second half saw the Hameedians more determined to hold on to possession and work the ball from midfield to Sahan, who kept the flow of the game with great movement and control. Forwards Mohamed Kurshid and Mohamed Aashiq provided much needed support.
Kinniya Central looked to have switched to a defensive mode with seven players behind the ball at every given time. This made it difficult for the home team to break them down. The possessional play finally paid off when Kurshid who gathered a through pass fended off two defenders and calmly slotted the ball right off the goalkeeper to make it 2-1.
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Hameedia were relentless in attack thereafter as the Kinniya boys were not able to come out from their own half. Several flowing moves were disrupted with some hard tackling and long clearances.
With time running out Hameedia got a chance in the 88th minute when Sahan dribbled past four defenders but failed to get the ball across to his forwards. With the away team playing for time, in the 93rd minute Mohamed Afkar got a golden chance to square the match which he shot directly at the keeper to the disbelief of the home fans.
Full Time – Hameed Al Husseinie College 1 – 2 Kinniya Central College
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Mohamed Sahan (Hameed Al Husseinie College)
Hameed Al Husseinie College – Mohamed Kurshid 54’
Kinniya Central College – Rifkhan Ahamed 1’, Mohamed Ahsan 17’
Hameed Al Husseinie College – Mohamed Zulfar 15’, Mohamed Safran 70’
Kinniya Central College – Rifkhan Ahamed 28’, M.Ahsan 30’