In an entertaining match full of goals Kolons FC came through to beat Old Royalists SC 4-2 in the first match of FA Cup 2018, Colombo League worked off at the CR & FC Grounds.
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Second half goals from Manoj Perera and Mohamed Irfan sealed the win for Kolons. Amid hot and humid conditions, the game kicked off on a good pace where both teams battled to take control of the midfield. Old Royalists got in to their stride in the early passages of play and made inroads to the opposition box.
In the 5th minute of the game Kolons goalkeeper Mohamed Safran was called in for a save with a flicked header from his own defense. Old Royalists pushing forward were rewarded in the 15th minute when a cross from the right flank was headed back by Nirosh Darshan to the path of Tuwan Irshad who volleyed home from the edge of the box.
Kolons hit back almost immediately in the 17th minute with the first corner of the game. Unmarked Mohamed Rismi slotted from close range to equal the score 1-1.
Kolons had a glorious chance to go ahead in the 30th minute with Janaka Priyadara, who was through on goal, scuffed his shot straight at the goalkeeper. Old Royalists punished the miss in the 34th minute with Mohamed Shafeen beating the offside trap rounded the goalkeeper to make it 2-1 for the Reid Avenue lads.
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Once again Kolons hit back with a penalty awarded as Mohamed Fareed was brought down in the box. Referee rightly awarded the spot kick and a yellow card to Ashraf Hussain. Mohamed Irfan stepped up and duly converted the spot kick to make equalize.
Ashraf made amends to his earlier mistake by saving a certain goal, clearing the ball off the line with the goalkeeper beaten for good after an error. Both teams slowed off the pace with the half time looming.
Half Time – Old Royalists 2 – 2 Kolons FC
The beginning of the second half showed some good football with both teams stringing passes together. Kolons FC went in to the lead for the first time with a through ball which beat the Royalists defense and Manoj Perera was away with only the goalkeeper to beat and he slotted into the right corner with ease.
Even though Old Royalists had the positional and territorial advantage they failed to impress in the business end of the pitch, with several attacking moves failing to provide the end product.
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In the 65th minute Old Royalists goalkeeper was called in to action with a brilliant save from a free-kick which kept them in the hunt. It almost proved worthy of an equalizing goal as in the 69th minute Anthony Dickson had good chance, however he hit wide of the goal.
Nirosha Darshan tried hard to get the Old Royalists on level pegging but did not have the support he needed at the final quarter of the field. He had a good game though he was constantly man marked.
Goalmouth action was few and far between as the game came along to almost walking pace. With just 5 minutes left Player of the Match Mohamed Irfan went on a marauding run from his own half beating several defenders and with a bit of luck managed to squeeze in his second goal to close the deal for Kolons FC.
Full Time – Old Royalists 2 – 4 Kolons FC
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Mohamed Irfan (Kolons FC)
Kolons FC – Mohamed Rismi 17’, Mohamed Irfan 37’ & 85’, Manoj Perera 51’
Old Royalists SC – Tuwan Irshad 15’, Mohamed Shafeen 34’
Kolons FC – Kanthasamy Prakash 50’
Old Royalists SC – Mohamed Rismi 37′