Java Lane emerged victorious in a highly contested tie in the 2016/17 FA Cup Round of 32 at the Kelaniya Footbal Complex, defeating Kirulapone United 5-1 to secure a pre-quarterfinal spot.

Naveen Jude’s heroic brace and goals from Mohamed Rizkhan, Mohamed Abdullah and Malaka Perera for the visitors were sufficient to bring down the hosts.

A minute of silence was observed by both teams just before the game in memory of the lost ones due to the Meethotamulla tragedy. The game commenced with a very early chance for Shalik Khan to open the scoring for Kirulapone United in the 1st min, but was denied by an acrobatic save from Dhammika Senerath.

A couple of more chances presented for Khan to put the hosts into an early lead, but luck was not in his favour. Just when Kirulapone started to gain momentum, a counter attack led by Rizkhan opened an opportunity for Malaka Perera to score the opener of the game. Rizkhan booted in the ball which found Malaka’s header and it went through Ashen Madushanka’s gloves.

Seven minutes later a nasty challenge on Naveen Jude by Ruwan Chamara brought a penalty to Java Lane. In a race for a through ball by Mohamed Aleem, a harsh challenge by Ruwan took down Naveen when he could have cleared the ball easily. Surprisingly no card was given but only a verbal warning.

Skipper for Java Lane Mohamed Abdullah who stood up to take the penalty made no mistake smashing it to the net to put the Reds 2-0 up. With two goals down Kirulapone United’s attitude towards the game changed in a blink of an eye with heavy physical play by the players.

A late challenge by Chamara De Silva on Shalik Khan in the box was not awarded as a penalty by referee Mohamed Irshan which provoked the players even more, both players were eventually booked.

Following that, an ugly incident took place when S.A.Thilakaratne of Kirulapone United walked towards the Java Lane’s technical area and quarreled with the management using inappropriate hand gestures which almost led to the police having to halt the game. After the match commissioner and the referee got involved in the discussion, having words with the teams, the game re-commenced.

With the high intensity of play which followed, Abdullah went down from an ankle injury in the 37th and was replaced by Revin Kumar.

Ashen Madushanaka was booked in for a yellow when he accidently charged down to collect the ball inches before the penalty area. A free kick was awarded from a very close range; Rizkhan nearly scored the 3rd for Java Lane but was denied by a good save from Ashen.

Just before half time, Java Lane scored their 3rd through Mohamed Aleem’s long range shot which Madushanka fumbled right in front of Rizkhan who unselfishly back heeled to an open Naveen Jude to score.

Half Time : Kirulapone United 0 – 3 Java Lane

After the strongly contested first half the hosts came back strong, with a good half time talk and better moral. They immediately kept pressing, dominating possession and territory quickly.

It was Raveen Madushanka and Shalik Khan who brought in life to the attack running in both channels causing trouble to the Java Lane defence who played a slow and sloppy passage of play. An annoyed and frustrated Java lane bench and fans expressed their immense displeasure and opinions.

The hosts found answers for their efforts when Shalik dribbled in from left and fed a swirling ball in to the goal which found an unmarked G.Suren to score the opening goal from a header, which turned the score line 3-1.

This goal was sufficient to add in more pressure to the Slave island boys who then began to use Rizkhan’s individual brilliance to create chances. A much better organized attacking move found Malaka Perera who drew Shiyam Bronther to send a through ball from gap which Naveen collected and stepped in to beat the keeper to score his brace.

Lakmal Perera and Fahim Nizamdeen were brilliant towards the latter part of the game, defending with great character and Lakmal was well occupied on the left side running up and down quite often creating chances.

Once again few ugly scenes took place when Ruwan Chamara was yellow carded for an elbow charge on Mohamed Aleem, earning a free kick for Java Lane and yet again Rizkan who took the honours of taking the free kick which almost netted in but went wide,

In the 92nd during a tussle for the ball, Dinesh Victor collided with Aleem in the penalty area which earned Java Lane a penalty. Naveen Jude who had a chance of sealing a hat trick decided to hand over the ball to Rizkhan who had been tirelessly working hard to get his name in the score sheet and with great confidence he scored the 5th goal in style.

Just before full time, a very frustrated Shalik Khan was given a red card for use of abusive language at the referee.

Full Time – Kirulapone United 1 – 5 Java Lane Player of the Match – Naveen Jude

Police was deployed immediately after the full time whistle to control the situation as Kirulapone United fans began to question the match officials over certain decisions and express their displeasure on the decisions which didn’t favour their team. The officials then were immediately escorted to the officials’ room as Police cleared the raged host fans.

Sharing thoughts about the game Mohamed Nazar (Java Lane Coach);

“We played well, expected goals from the 2nd half unlike the 1st half, we missed a lot chances. We had left out one of senior player but that wasn’t any problem, they all played well.”

Asked about the refereeing decision;

“Yes, I have to agree that certain decisions were silly and unacceptable but we played our game, that’s why we earned the win today.”

Goal Scorers
Java Lane SC – Malaka Perera 15’,Mohamed Abdullah 22’, Naveen Jude 42’ & 74’,Mohamed Rizkhan 92’
Kirulapone United – G.Suren 59’


Yellow cards
Java Lane SC – Chamara De Silva 30’, Revin Kumar 40’
Kirulapana United  – Shalik Khan 30’, GK Priyankara 41’, Raveen Madushanka 65’, Ruwan Chamara 89’

Red cards
Kirulapone United – Shalik Khan 93’ (Abusive Language)

Java Lane SC – Revin Kumar (in) Mohamed Abdullah (Out) 37’
Kirulapana United – Mohamed Arsan (In) Ashen Madushanka (Out) 44’, Thomas Clarence (In) S.A Thilakaratne (Out) 56’,  Isuru Prathana (In) Raveen Madushanka (Out) 78’