The title dreams ended in heartbreak in the cruelest manner for St. Henry’s College, Jaffna and St.Joseph Vaz, Wennappuwa as they each faced defeat in the semi-finals of the Kotmale U19 Schools’ Football Championship.
With all but lost both teams will want to go out on a high as they will battle each other for 3rd place honors at the Durrayappa Stadium, Jaffna on the 5th of November prior to the big final between Zahira College and St. Patrick’s College.
Favorites St. Henry’s shocked in the semis
With their staggering goal scoring record St. Henry’s were slightly ahead in the semifinal clash against Zahira College, Colombo.
However, despite taking the lead twice during regulation time St. Henry’s managed let the advantage slip away.
The controversial moment came during the dying seconds when a goal keeper from the St. Henry’s had a horror moment opening the door for a late equalizer.
It was all downhill for them from there on as they lost out on an opportunity to retain their title, going down 4-1 on penalties as Zahira College booked a place in yet another final.
The St. Henry’s lads were left in tears as the holders were dethroned in an epic showdown.
St. Joseph Vaz so close yet so far
After containing a free scoring St. Patrick’s side during regulation time, St. Joseph Vaz would have fancied their chances in causing the upset of this year’s Kotmale U19 Championship going into penalties.
However, a moment of tactical brilliance saw St. Patrick’s edge St.Joseph Vaz as R.Santhan became the hero with the gloves on. Joseph Vaz were no doubt devastated after a determined rearguard defensive performance to be left with nothing to show for their efforts.
St. Joseph Vaz has a shot at redemption as they will face St. Henry’s College, Jaffna in the consolation finals with a matter of pride at stake.
3rd Place Match-ups
St. Henry’s overwhelming favorites
St. Henry’s will unquestionably walk into this tie as favorites, just as they did in their semifinal encounter.
With an offensive arsenal firing all guns they’ll no doubt pepper the St. Joseph Vaz defenders with wave after wave of attacks.
The likes of Anthony Ramesh, Benedict Kanistan and Jude Suman will undoubtedly intimidate any opponent with flair and quality as they provide abundant substance both offensively and defensively. Through relentless running in the channels St. Henry’s give very little respite to opponents. Their ability to wear out defenses and subsequently decimate them has somewhat become a St. Henry’s trademark.
St. Joseph Vaz has two focal points in midfield in Anil Majula and Ishara Sandaruwan who represent New Youngs in the Dialog Champions League.
The Wennappuwa lads will undoubtedly want to utilize them more often as they face a formidable challenge in St. Henry’s.
If Ishara Sandaruwan has a good game as he did in the semifinals he will prove to be a challenge to the resolute St. Henry’s defense.
A Game of Nerves
Nerves will play a big part in the outcome notwithstanding the fact that it is a consolation final.
The earliest to settle into the game will have a significant advantage in dictating terms as it will allow them to express themselves in every aspect of the game.
St. Henry’s will no doubt back their experience in this situation with their well-seasoned bunch of players.
St. Joseph Vaz will certainly not hand down the challenge without a fight as they’ll put up a dogged fight against the reigning champions.