Veteran Dammika Rathnayake scored a hat trick and assisted another helping Navy Sea Hawks FC save their blushes against Negombo Youth FC to win 4-1 in their 3rd week fixture of the Dialog Champions League 2018 at the Navy Grounds, Welisara.
Renown SC beat Pelicans SC by 4-1, guided by a first half hat-trick from Ibrahim Jimoh …
From the onset Navy Sea Hawks were on the front foot and pegged the Negombo Youth defence in their own half in the early part of the game.
The first warning shot came from the Sea Hawks when Danushka Madushanka scuffed a clear shot at goal. From then on it was a series of miss hits and missed chances for Sea Hawks.
Their forward line of Nagoor Meera, Mohamed Asmeer and Mohamed Shaheel kept on missing easy chances as they kept hitting off the target which were easy slot-ins. Negombo Youth were left with no answers to the Sea Hawk attack.
First action on target was when Shaheel made the Negombo goalkeeper Chinthaka Sujeewa sweat with a save from a free kick which he tipped over the crossbar.
Kamal Silva then came to the rescue of Negombo Youth when he cleared off the line a shot from Shaheel to keep them in the game.
Sea Hawks did not stop from there as they continued to dominate play through Chathuranga Sanjeewa in the midfield and Nagoor Meera and Asmeer from the flanks only for the forwards to keep missing the target with poor finishing.
Half Time – Navy Sea Hawks 0 – 0 Negombo Youth FC
Second half was no different as the Welisara boys started to attack the Negombo goal and did not help themselves to a goal.
Play was scrappy in the early part of the second half as Negombo Youth tried to come into the game but never looked threatening and the forward line hardly got a touch in the opponents’ half.
Then came the change of the match in the 65th minute when Dammika Rathnayake came into the game. The experience of the veteran showed immediately as he occupied the right wing. Drew fouls off the Negombo defence and looked to be the savior of Navy.
He turned provider immediately to Nagoor Meera only for the latter to miss the target horrendously in front of the goal with him and the goalkeeper alone.
Finally in the 83rd minute Rathnayake took matters to his own hand when a through ball found him on side and with the keeper advancing he lobbed over to send the Navy bench to frenzy and settle the nerves.
He turned provider minutes later with a cross from right which found Mohamed Asmeer and this time he calmly slotted past Chinthaka Sujeewa.
Immediately after Nagoor Meera then turned provider for Rathnayake to get his second with an easy tap in. The game suddenly looked wrapped up by the Sea Hawks.
Out of nowhere Negombo Youth got on the act of goal scoring when Priyankara Silva unleashed a thunder bolt beating the Navy keeper who was much of a spectator the entire game.
As the game went in to the final minutes Rathnayaka was once again at the end of a cross from Nagoor Meera to complete his hat trick.
Full Time – Navy Sea Hawks 4 – 1 Negombo Youth FC
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Dammika Rathnayaka (Navy Sea Hawks)
Navy Sea Hawks FC – Dammika Rathnayaka 83’, 89’ & 90+2’, Mohamed Asmeer 89’
Negombo Youth FC – Priyankara Silva 90 +1’