Mohamed Shaheel cancelled out Mohamed Issadeen’s 1st half goal as Navy Sea Hawks FC drew with Defenders FC 1-1 in the Dialog Champions League 2018, week 12 encounter at the Navy Grounds, Welisara.
Defenders came into this clash in 3rd with 26 points, with the opportunity to go on top with a win. Sea Hawks were just one place behind with 23 points.
Colombo FC moved back to the top of the Dialog Champions…
Navy got the first chance of the game when Mohamed Asmeer was sent through on goal, but his final effort under pressure from the onrushing Mohamed Luthfi was rolled wide.
Defenders got an opening in the 14th minute when Mohamed Issadeen broke through the defense and took a strike. However, goalkeeper Sachintha Reginald off his line pulled off a great save to deny the Soldiers.
The Sailors were handed a lifeline in the 19th minute when Keerthi Kumara brought down Danushka Madushanka inside the box and referee Robesh pointed straight to the spot. Madushanka took responsibility himself, but struck it poorly allowing Luthfi to get down quickly and make a good save to deny the Sailors.
Defenders struck first blood in the 34th minute after Vigneswaraja Kajanthan from midfield found Kasun Pradeep on the left flank with a good over the top ball. Pradeep cut it back to Issadeen inside the box who volleyed it past Reginald into the back of the net.
Nalaka Roshan came close to pulling the Sailors back on level terms on two occasions before the half ended. A cross by Nagoor Meera was volleyed over the crossbar, before an acrobatic effort was saved by Luthfi.
Half Time: Navy Sea Hawks FC 0 – 1 Defenders FC
Mohamed Shaheel pulled the Sailors back on level terms in the 50th minute. Shaheel took a blistering strike from range which caught Luthfi off guard as it flew past him into the back of the net.
The Soldiers first major chance of the half came in the form of a free-kick when Lakshitha Jayathunga took a curling effort at goal, but it was an easy save for Reginald.
That was followed by another free-kick struck well by the Soldiers. Reginald made a good save pushing it onto the crossbar but it fell back into play. That led to a goal mouth scramble before Navy cleared the ball away.
As the game went into added time there was a late flurry of attacks by the Soldiers. Suraj Bernard dribbled to the edge of the box and cut a pass back to Madushan De Silva who had plenty of goal to aim at. Madushan however scuffed his shot over the crossbar.
That was followed by another close call for the Sailors when Issadeen yet again broke through the defense, but his final effort saw an acrobatic save by Reginald.
Full Time: Navy Sea Hawks FC 1 – 1 Defenders FC
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Sachintha Reginald (Navy Sea Hawks FC)
Navy Sea Hawks FC – Mohamed Shaheel 50’
Defenders FC – Mohamed Issadeen 34’