Renown SC beat Pelicans SC by 4-1, guided by a first half hat-trick from Ibrahim Jimoh and another goal from the spot by Dilip Peiris in their opening fixture of the Dialog Champions League 2018 at the Beddagana Football Complex.
New Youngs FC and Super Sun SC played out a scrappy 1-1 draw in the curtain raiser of the….
Renown kicked off proceedings on the artificial surface at Beddagana and looked fluent from the start. Much better playing conditions helped for a better passing game which suited Renown.
Renown got their first opportunity as early as the 6th minute when Dilan Madusanka was brought down inside the penalty box. Dilip Peiris stepped up to convert the spot kick to give the Kotahena team the lead.
Much of the first half attacks for Renown came down the left flank where Mohamed Riyal and Mohamed Ashath combined well to get the crosses in. Pelicans defense were under the cosh from start to the end of the first half.
Pelicans got an opportunity to equalize in the 17th minute when L.D. Karunasinghe was through on goal only to hit it wide with the goal at his mercy. Minutes later, Peiris combined well with Jimoh to set the latter free on goal and slot in his first goal of the afternoon.
Immediately after Pelicans got another opportunity to hit back when Mariyadas Nidarshan attempting a back pass gave the ball away to Emmanuel Lartey who was free on goal and was expertly blocked by Renown goalkeeper Rasik Rishad.
Cobbinah Godfred got a series of opportunities to get a goal back for Pelicans only to be denied by poor execution and good blocking from defense and goalkeeper.
Renown capitalized on the misses with 2 goals coming in quick succession from Ibrahim Jimoh. The third of his was a sublime shot from wide outside and beating the goalkeeper at the near post.
Half Time – Renown SC 4 – 0 Pelicans SC
Second half was far better from Pelicans as they started to dominate the possession in the midfield and were at times helped by poor passing by Renown players. For all their possession the attempts came from long range efforts as the two strikers failed to connect and did not find a way past the Renown defense.
The midfield build-up plays by Pelicans troubled Renown as they were not getting as much possession as the first half and tried to send through balls only to be caught off side in every such attempt.
There was hardly any goal mouth action in the second half as both teams struggled to muster a string of passes. Mohamed Sapri for Pelicans was strong in the midfield however, could not find a telling pass to his strikers.
Pelicans got good opportunities with free kicks just outside the Renown box but poor execution saw the ball sail over on more than one occasion much to the frustration of coach Isuru Perera.
In the dying minutes of the match Cobbinah Godfred finally got the goal he was striving for with a delightful curler to the top left corner after sending two defenders the wrong way. Despite the win Renown Coach Mohamed Amanulla also looked unsatisfied with the second half effort from his team.
Full Time – Renown SC 4 – 1 Pelicans SC
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Ibrahim Jimoh
Renown SC – Dilip Pieris 6’, Ibrahim Jimoh 21’, 30’ & 45’
Pelicans SC – Cobbinah Godfred 88’
Renown SC – Dimuthu Priyadarshana 51’
Pelicans SC – Mohamed Sapri 11’