Saunders SC produced an epic comeback in the dying minutes scoring 3 late goals to emerge victorious 3-2 against Renown SC in their week 9 encounter of the Dialog Champions League 2018 played at the Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo.
The Saunders SC versus Renown SC Dialog Champions League 2018 Week 9 …
The match which was scheduled to be played on 5th January was postponed after referees refused to officiate matches involving Saunders. The venue was then shifted to Sugathadasa Stadium with maximum security.
It was Saunders, who were bottom of the table in 18th place, that found their feet early on as they dominated possession but could not get the scoreboard ticking due to their poor finishing. They were awarded with a free-kick on the edge of the box, but Chryshantha Abeysekara could only rocket it just over the crossbar.
Few minutes later, they got another free-kick from close range, but Suntharaj Niresh’s shot this time was easily saved by the Renown goalkeeper Rasik Rishad and Abeysekara then missed a clear opportunity when he headed the ball straight into the hands of Rishad.
From there onwards it was all Renown in the first-half as they tormented the opposition with swift attacking display of football.
It all started with a perfectly timed pass from Dilan Madusanka through the right flank to Mohamed Arshad whose effort was a feeble shot at goal. Ibrahim Jimoh then had a curling effort narrowly missing the far post.
Renown broke the deadlock in the 31st minute through a goal from Ibrahim Jimoh. A few close exchanges of passes between Jimoh and Dilip Peiris paved the way for Jimoh to take the ball into the box and score past Salitha Thilaksiri.
Arshad then had a header skim past the far post as Renown failed to extend their lead despite dominating the proceedings missing a host of opportunities.
Half time – Saunders SC 0 – 1 Renown SC
Saunders came into the 2nd half looking determined with Suntharaj Niresh being the livewire but was denied by Rishad on several occasions. However, just eight minutes into the second half Renown extended their lead as Arshad found the back of the net from close range off a Madusanka cross from the left.
Read More: Air Force draw Colombo with late penalty
Then on Saunders started to dictate terms as Rishad got his fingertips to a Isuru Perera thunderbolt pushing the ball onto the post keeping Saunders at bay. Salitha then pulled off a brilliant save, at the other end, from close range off Dilip.
Chamod Dilshan’s header to a corner hit the crossbar and then found the feet of Mohamed Naleem who had a shot at goal which was then blocked on the line by the Renown defence. They were again denied by Rishad who pulled off an elite save to a Abeysekara header from point blank range.
Out of the blue, then came the twist in the tale with Saunders scoring two back-to-back goals within 4 minutes. The shaky Renown defence saw Niresh finding the ball at his feet with only the goalkeeper to beat, he smashed the ball into the back of the net.
Naleem then found the equalizer with an easy close-range tap-in off a flick to a corner by one of his teammates.
Deep into injury time Chamath Rashmitha was fouled inside the box for which the referee had no hesitation in pointing towards the penalty spot.
Niresh who stepped up for the spot kick kept his composure and put the ball into the bottom left corner, completing an epic comeback and securing the first win of the season for the struggling Price Park boys.
Full time – Saunders SC 3 – 2 Renown SC
- ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Suntharaj Niresh (Saunders SC)
Saunders SC – Suntharaj Niresh 77’, 90+2’(P), Mohamed Naleem 81’
Renown SC – Ibrahim Jimoh 31’, Mohamed Arshad 53’
Saunders SC – Isuru Perera 38’, Sajith Dharmapala 87’