Coming into the match as favourites, Maris Stella College, Negombo scored four goals on either side of half time to beat Hermann Gmeiner School, Piliyandala comprehensively in the group fixture of Kotmale Chox Schools’ U19 Football Championship played at Cooray Park.
The opening minutes saw both teams struggling to get hold of the ball. Maris Stella, despite having the upper hand were unable to find a decent effort as the players were out of position most of the time.
Hermann Gmeiner looked shaky but their backs made sure they cleared the ball whenever there was an attack in the opening exchanges.
The boys from Negombo tried to dribble through the Hermann Gmeiner defenders only to be stuck with no one to pass to. The match saw low quality football as poor passing and selfish play meant that they were unable insert a flow into the match.
Maris Stella somehow managed to put one into the back of the net in the 19th minute, thanks to Nisal Tharinda Silva’s stunner. The goal opened the flood gates as Maris Stella looked like getting back into their groove.
Nisal added another goal to his name again in the 27th minute as he used a cut back from the right flank and shot into the top corner.
In the 30th minute, Chathura Buwaneka scored the third goal by tapping in a free kick. He stepped up on his own to score a direct free kick to give Maris Stella College an unassailable lead before the half time.
Half Time- Maris Stella College 4-0 Hermann Gmeiner School
Hermann Gmeiner looking to sort out their defense was dealt an early blow in the opening minutes of the 2nd half when Luke Sanjaya Chathuranga, coming in as a half time substitute managed to score past the diving Hermann Gmeiner goalkeeper.
Anjana Gunawardeana scored the second direct free kick of the match as his ball burst through the hands of the Hermann Gmeiner goalkeeper which looked like a routine save. The two quick fire goals shocked the players of Hermann Gmeiner who looked lost.
A very ordinary session of football continued with both teams unable to orchestrate a plan to score a goal. Both teams looked visibly tired.
In the 68th minute another defensive error broke Luke Sanjaya free who calmly deposited the ball past the goalkeeper for the 7th goal of the match.
He didn’t wait long to complete his hat trick as he scored his third, similar to his second, in the 73rd minute.
Hermann Gmeiner despite going 8-0 down showed some fight in the dying minutes when they started to exploit the relaxed Maris Stella defense. But the consolation goal didn’t arrive as they ran out of time. The referee’s whistle brought the low key affair to an end.
Full Time- Maris Stella College 8-0 Hermann Gmeiner School
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Nisal Tharinda Silva
Maris Stella has all reasons to smile with the score line, but should be aware that the performance they put up was below par to their standards. They need to pull their socks up sooner rather than later as the tournament is starting to get more and more combative.
Hermann Gmeiner School on the other hand should not lose heart after the result. Most of the team members are young and have another year or two to play football for school, this match will be a valuable experience for them to learn from.