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