The Navy Sea Hawks FC dominated visitors Renown SC in their week 14 Dialog Champions League 2018 encounter at the Navy Grounds in Welisara, registering a comfortable 3-0 win to go ahead of Defenders to top the league table.
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The game began with a little bit of confusion, as the visitors were unprepared for kick-off at 3.30pm after a miscommunication had led them to believe the game would commence at 4.
Nevertheless, the Sea Hawks, who had by that time been engaging in their warm-up for nearly an hour, came out all guns blazing, and took the lead in the 3rd minute of the game, after a wonderful run off the left wing by Mohamed Azmeer.
Renown looked like a team that did not want to be out there in the early exchanges as the hosts dominated possession.
Their only real attacking move within the 1st 20 minutes came when Mariyadas Nidarshan made a run into the box. His effort was cleared by the tight Sea Hawks defense and the resulting corner was wasted with a low cross.
Renown kept trying to get the ball to their right-wing Mohamed Mujeeb, but the Sea Hawks’ compact defending meant that even if they did manage to get the ball to the speedster, he was unable to make any inroads towards goal.
Navy’s dominance was rewarded in the 23rd minute when Danushka Madusanka took advantage of a poor piece of defending by Hakeem Kamil, stealing the ball off Renown’s center back to go one on one against the goalkeeper Rasik Rishad and eventually score Navy’s 2nd.
Unable to penetrate into the box, Renown resorted to taking a few long-range efforts, hoping to cut down the deficit before the end of the first half. However, they were unable to get any shots on target, leaving the Navy goalkeeper Sachintha Reginold untested during the opening 45 minutes of the game.
Rasik Rishad was tested a few times on the other end, as Navy continued to breach Renown’s defense.
Half Time – Navy Sea Hawks FC 2 – 0 Renown SC
Azmeer nearly started the 2nd half in the same way he began the 1st half, making a run on the left wing towards the box, before he was stopped by Renown skipper Francis Agbeti.
Navy dominated possession and didn’t allow Renown much room to breathe as they used the short passes and through balls to good effect.
Renown’s best chance of the game came 10 minutes into the 2nd half when Jude Suman smashed the ball towards goal from outside the box. The ball swerved slightly to wrong-foot Reginold but Navy’s custodian punched the ball away to deny the visitors.
A quiet 10 minutes followed with much of the action involving possession changing hands in the midfield.
The 67th minute saw another fatal defensive mistake from Hakeem as Madusanka turned out to be the beneficiary once again, lobbing the ball over the keeper to secure a brace and put the game to bed.
Navy thought they had their 4th with the very next play but Azmeer was ruled offside. The youngster rose up above the imposing defense of Renown to head in a deserved 2nd goal, only to turn around to see the linesman’s flag up.
Navy kept the pressure until the final minute but could not secure a fourth goal while Renown will be disappointed to have not scored, despite having many half chances.
With the win the Sea Hawks have now climbed to the top of the table, going to 30 points in 13 games, while Renown remain in 7th place.
Full Time – Navy Sea Hawks FC 3 – 0 Renown SC
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Mohamed Azmeer (Navy Sea Hawks FC)
Navy Sea Hawks FC – Mohamed Azmeer 3’, Danushka Madusanka 23’ & 67’
Navy Sea Hawks FC – Chathuranga Sanjeewa 82’