Police SC fails to breach Blue Star wall

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Blue Star SC booked their place in the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup beating Police SC 1-0 despite being reduced to 10 men in the first half at the Police Park.

Both teams started aggressively, trying to get an early lead but were unable find any clear cut opportunity.

The players tried long range shots to unsettle the goalkeepers but their efforts were not good enough to trouble the custodians as the match progressed in an unsettled manner without a direction.

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However, Blue Star were able to take advantage of a defensive error from Police SC to draw first blood. Rangana Silva’s pinpoint through-ball broke E.B.Channa free, who calmly slotted the ball past the on rushing goalkeeper, Dumith Shashika in the 9th minute.

Both teams played a physical game as players were not afraid to put their bodies on the line. Referee, Kasun Weerakkody tried his level best not to disrupt the flow of the game as tackles were flying in from everywhere.

Police SC gathered themselves after the early set back by creating chances. Sujith Sanjeewa had a glorious opportunity to bring back Police SC into contention but failed to keep his header low.

Blue Star’s game plan was simple after the early goal as they sat back and defended, counter attacking when they get a chance. It almost paid off when another defensive error left Shashika to deal with Channa. Dumith did well by charging forward and fending off the ball. He was brought back into action again to stop yet another 1 on 1 chance.

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Few free kicks were awarded for Police SC but the efforts did not trouble the scores.

The 40th minute saw the most important moment of the match when Mohamed Irshan of Blue Star SC was sent off, in a controversial call by the referee after receiving the second yellow of the game.

Half Time- Police SC 0-1 Blue Star SC

Rejuvenated Police SC started the second half brightly as expected to take advantage of the extra man. The defenders of Blue Star had to bring their A game to keep Police SC at bay.

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Dark clouds surrounded the stadium as Police SC attacked wave after wave but Blue Star wall led by the tall African centre back Nasiru Opayemi stood firm.

Rajitha Jayavilal scrambled into a good position to score but was only able to trouble the side netting. Manjula Fernando, the experienced goalkeeper of Blue Star SC was calm and collected as he made sure no balls went past him.

The tackles started to fly in again as two players from each team got booked. Police was awarded another free kick opportunity to level things. Substitute Mohammed Rafeek was on target only to be cleared at the last moment by Fernando.

Blue Star’s Mohamed Rifkhan made a match saving interception after Rafeek was left with the ball against the open goal.

Police running out of time for the equalizer, started to lose their calmness by losing the ball more often than not. 10 men Blue Star held onto the win as referee brought the match to an end.

Full Time- Police SC 0-1 Blue Star SC

ThePapare.com Player of the Match: Nasiru Opayemi (Blue Star SC)

The result marked the end of the road for Police SC who may have found a way to break the defense if they had been a bit more patient when building up the attack. Blue Star SC progress to the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup, but they have some tinkering job to do before they get onto the field next time. A performance like this may not be enough to get them to the semi finals.