Royal College skipper Sakun Divyanga scored early in the 2nd half as they defeated Mahinda College, Galle 1-0 to retain the Albert Edirisinghe Trophy in a group A match in ThePapare Football Championship 2018 at the Race Course International Stadium.
St. Joseph’s College came from two goals down in the final..
With this win at the 25th encounter Royal College leads the tally with 22 wins while Mahinda College has two wins while one encounter ended in a draw.
From the onset Royal had the majority of the possession and territory but failed to get past the strong defense of Mahinda. Both sides were hampered by poor passing as play was restricted to the midfield while Royal’s Basith Ameen was caught off-side on numerous occasions.
However, it was Mahinda College who got two great chances to open the scoring inside ten minutes. A free-kick from inside their own half was well controlled by a Mahindian inside the box but he could only volley the ball wide past the onrushing goalkeeper Mohamed Asad.
A poor clearance from the resulting clearance saw Hansana Liyanage looping the ball from the edge of the box over an out of position Asad, but it crashed off the crossbar and into safety.
Mahinda got a few free-kicks but were unable to make use of them while Royal’s inability to create chances was exemplified when their only shot on target in the 1st half came in the 31st minute through Shishan Prabuddha.
Half time – Royal College 0 – 0 Mahinda College
After a stern half time talk Royal got off the blocks in the 2nd half with intent and took them just three minutes to test the Mahinda goalkeeper with a header from a corner.
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A few minutes later Sakun Divyanga gave Royal the lead as he broke into the box and took an early shot past the diving P.P. Dalugoda.
With the visitors searching for an equalizer the game got stretched but they missed a few more free-kicks due to poor execution. For Royal Asad looked composed under the high and long balls while Prabuddha sent a free-kick, from the edge of the box, just over the crossbar.
With ten minutes remaining, things got bleak for Mahinda when they were reduced to 10-men after Kaveesh Sathsara got sent off following a 2nd yellow card.
Divyanga had a chance to make it 2-0 closer to full time but dragged his shot wide. On the stroke of half time Shehan Yashmila too got his 2nd yellow card as the lads from Galle went down to 9-men.
Full time – Royal College 1 – 0 Mahinda College
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Mohamed Asad (Royal College)
Royal College – Sakun Divyanga 52’
Royal College – Sakun Divyanga 43’, Mohamed Sajidh 57’
Mahinda College – Shehan Yashmila 42’, Kaveesh Sathsara 70’
Mahinda College – Shehan Yashmila 89’, Kaveesh Sathsara 81’