In an enthralling affair Kirulapone United continued their dream run defeating Moragasmulla SC 5-4 on penalties after it ended 2-2 at full time in a FA Cup 6th round tie which was worked off at the Kelaniya Football Complex.
The lads from Moragasmulla dominated from the word go as they backed their flamboyant attacking line to provide them the early break through which allow them to gain control over the game.
With mobility and enterprise the team in white troubled the Kirulapone boys as they kept launching one attack after the other.
The persistent pressure left them open at the back vulnerable on the counter which the Kirulapone lads exploited in a rare attack which led to a shot on target which tested the goalkeeper, L.P.Perera.
The resulting corner was headed away to safety yet a hopeful punt up front by G.Suren was met by Kelvin Kenu who placed the ball home in a controversial offside call which was turned down by the linesman.
Moragusmulla kept pushing for an equalizer after Kelvin’s 15th minute opener and their persistence finally paid off when V.P.Sakulada beat the goalkeeper P.Nilojan, on a tight angel after a horrendous defensive mix up.
Both teams went for the kill as they wanted to gain the advantage as the first half drew to an end on an exciting note.
The second half saw Moragasmulla coming out all guns blazing as they wanted to capitalize on the tiring Kirulapone defense.
Their efforts were rewarded as K.I.Priyankara got on the end of lovely through ball from S.M.Gunesekaran in the 47th minute.
Amidst the Moragussmulla domiance, the game turned on its head in the 56th minute as a move against the run of play caused a lapse in defense as A.M.Shifan fouled Raveen Madusanka just out side the box to be sent off for being the last defender.
It took just two minutes for the Kirulapone United to capitalize on their numerical advantage as an extraordinary cross from the right flank was met by Kelvin Kenu who scored his and brought the game onto level terms on the 58th minute.
Kirulapone United were unable to capitalize for a second time to score the decisive goal of the game as the match drew to an end sending the game into penalties.
It was nothing short of scintillating as both goalkeepers pulled off spectacular saves as two of the lads from both clubs shot wide as the mandatory penalties ended 3-3.
The shootout entered a sudden death phase as the 7th decisive penalty was saved by the Kirulapone Nilojan who converted the winner himself to take Kirulapone boys into the next round.
The Kirulapone United goalkeeper was by far the man of the match as he kept a steady head throughout the game and stood up during the shootout the carry Kirulapone forward in the tournament.
With their steady defense and pacy front line they’re gaining momentum as this year competition’s dark horses.
ThePapare.com Man of the Match: P.Nilojan