Mohamed Fazal came back to haunt his former club as Colombo FC broke the Renown SC hearts for the third time running to clinch the 2017 Dialog Champions League with a 1-0 win at the ‘Title Decider’ at the Race Course Stadium.
All the action of seventeen long weeks boiled down to the final match of the final game week.
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Undefeated Renown floundered to wrap up the championship with a game week to play by failing to break a resolute Air Force defence. On the other hand Colombo FC managed to stay in the title race after surviving a close encounter against Army SC.
Both teams took their time to get into their stride as the nerves took time to settle down. Colombo FC started to threaten making use of the flanks. Momas Yapo looked all set to deposit the cut back cross from Ismail Abumere only to be stopped by a terrific save by Francis Agbeti.
Moments later Mohamed Fazal started off a beautiful move and unleashed a fine curling effort after a well-timed lay off from Momas Yapo, which rattled the woodwork without going in.
Renown hit the post in reply from their part. Job Michael, after forcing Kaveesh Fernando into a diving save, first headed a Mohamed Rifnaz cross on to the post, and then moments later smashed a left footed effort on to the bar after creating some space for himself.
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Renown missed another gift to get into the lead as Traore Mohamed’s curling cross was not kept down by Mohamed Arshad who missed the goal opportunity from five yards.
Colombo not having an option to back down continued to move forward creating gaps at the back and made Renown pay, by scoring in the 37th minute. Yapo with a bustling run cut the ball back in at the right time to Fazal who coolly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Half Time – Renown SC 0 – 1 Colombo FC
Colombo almost doubled their lead in the opening exchanges of the second half. Renown failed to clear the danger off a corner giving Abumere a free header at the far post but Rasik Rishad was in the right position to pouch the ball.
Colombo FC looked calm and composed pulling their strings together and cutting off any threat imposed by Renown who on the other hand looked tired and jaded as minutes passed by with basic mistakes beginning to show.
However, out of nowhere Renown found a way to feed Job Michael with the long ball and it looked as if goalkeeper Kaveesh Fernando was left stranded with Michael rushing in but Colombo skipper Rawme Mohideen flung his body in with a pin-point tackle to catch the striker off guard mid-air.
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Renown continued their attack as Job Michael again hit the post for the third time in the match, and also blazed another effort over the bar. Traore also had a good effort from range saved by Kaveesh Fernando.
Ahamed Shazny then had a chance to put the match to bed for Colombo going one on one with the goalkeeper, but Rishad made a great save coming off the line to keep Renown in the hunt.
More agony awaited Renown after coming ever so close once again and after a nice build up play by Rifnaz, Job had the space to go for goal. Kaveesh Fernando was upto the task parrying the ball away but the ball fell into the path of Mohamed Arshad who could only send the ball into orbit with the follow up effort.
Renown were left with no one but themselves to blame as referee Nivon Robesh blew the final whistle handing Colombo FC their third title on the trot.
Full Time – Renown SC 0 – 1 Colombo FC
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Rawme Mohideen (Colombo FC)
Colombo FC – Mohamed Fazal 37’
Colombo FC – Momas Yapo 37’
Renown SC – Mohamed Rizkhan
Colombo FC – Niran Kanishka, Ahamed Shazny, Rawme Mohideen