Renown left it late but came out with a 2-1 win against Matara City Club in their week 07 fixture of the Dialog Champions League 2018, played at the Kelaniya Football Complex.
Renown came into this game-week in 5th place with 13 points after 6 games, while Matara City were in 8th place with 9 points.
Matara City had the first shot on target, but it was struck straight to the Renown goalkeeper Rafik Irshad who gathered comfortably. Renown’s first major chance of the half came when a good cross by Mohamed Mujeeb found the header of Dilip Pieris, who could not keep his effort on target.
City’s Larbi Prince got two major opportunities in the half, first early on, when he dribbled past his man into the box, but his final effort rolled just inches wide after beating Irshad. Prince again came close after getting a good through-ball before he took a shot from the edge of the box, but failed to get enough power behind it, making it an easy save for Irshad.
It was Dilip Pieris who kept coming close to breaking the deadlock for Renown, but kept failing to get the telling touch. Pieris took a powerful strike from outside the box that flew well wide, before a great over the top ball was headed towards goal, but yet again he failed to direct it on target.
The lads from Matara had the final chance of the half in the form of a free-kick. It was struck well by Boadu Prince, but flew just over the crossbar.
Half Time: Renown SC 0 – 0 Matara City Club
City dominated the possession and attack early in the second half, but similarly to the first half, neither side was clinical enough in the final third.
A few minutes later a good through-ball found Larbi Prince found itself inside the box, before he rolled his shot past Irshad to give the lads from Matara the lead.
Mariyadas Nidarshan then took an effort from the edge of the field which had the retreating Pradeep Prasanna in trouble, but managed to leap and just tip it over the crossbar in time.
Renown were handed a lifeline when their forward went down inside the opposition box and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Skipper Francis Agbeti stepped up, and despite Prasanna diving the right way, it was struck powerfully into the bottom corner to equalize the game.
Agbeti followed that minutes later with another effort on goal which had Prasanna diving to make the save, but the ball flew just wide of the target. Following that, a free-kick was awarded at the other end. City captain Adavu Isaac stepped up and struck well, but his effort curled just wide of the post.
Towards the end of the game Renown became the more attacking side while Matara seemed keen on holding onto a draw. City keeper Prasanna was called into action twice in quick succession, first when he pulled off a save against a volley by Jerry Ombebe. Again minutes later he pulled off a stunning save to deny a close range effort by Dilan Madushanka.
Nidarshan came close to scoring yet again when another long range effort by him came crashing back off the crossbar before being cleared to safety.
Dilip Pieris missed a couple more chances before finally in added time, a cross into the box was headed into the back of the net by Nidarshan to give Renown a late lead.
A final effort by City’s Larbi Prince was struck wide, before the referee blew for full time.
Full Time: Renown SC 2 – 1 Matara City Club
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Mariyadas Nidarshan (Renown SC)
Renown SC – Francis Agbeti 68’, Mariyadas Nidarshan 90+3’
Matara City Club – Larbi Prince 55’
Renown SC – Mohamed Mujeeb 74’
Matara City Club – Boadu Prince 61’