St. Joseph’s College defeated Hameed Al Husseinie College 4-3 on penalties after it ended 0-0 at full time in the second semifinal encounter of the U19 Division I Football tournament held at Moragasmulla grounds.
Despite losing their last group fixture to Holy Cross College, the winners of group B started with a star studded line up coming into the match as the favourites on paper.
Holy Cross College came from a goal down in the 2nd half to win 2-1 in a do or die game against Hameed Al Husseinie College.
St. Joseph’s had a magnificent run in the competition scoring 22 goals, the highest by any team in the group stages although the recent loss to St. Peter’s College was not the result they would have wanted.
The match started at an electric pace as both teams displayed end to end football from the word go.
It didn’t take long for Hameed Al Husseinie to create a more than decent chance when Mohamed Rishan delivered a pinpoint cross after dancing his way past several defenders. Mohammad Aman was under the pump from the two center-backs who didn’t allow him to take the shot as the goalkeeper Rasanjaya Nipul came up to make the save.
After the early scare, St. Joseph’s started to attack freely through the flanks.
Chamath Rashmitha and Asela Madushan’s pace kept the Hameedian defenders at bay who had to make crunching saves to clear off the danger.
With very little separating them both teams pressed forward to get the early advantage.
Hameed Al Husseinie had another chance at goal when skipper Aman’s cross found Keetige Sandaruwan but the midfielder made a horrific miss from point blank range.
St. Peter’s College came from behind to beat St. Joseph’s College 2 – 1 in the 26th Annual Joe-Pete Football encounter.
St. Joseph’s almost made them pay for their carelessness when the youngster Rashmitha broke Sachintha Maduranga free but his effort was saved by Hammed Al Husseinie custodian Mahendran Dinesh despite a fumble.
At the half an hour mark the Josephians celebrated a goal off a thumping header form Sachintha Maduranga only to be cut short by an earlier foul by the referee.
It was a nail biting first half with both schools having their fair share of chances.
Half Time: Hameed Al Husseinie College 0 – 0 St. Joseph’s College
Both teams started from where they left off in the first half as crowd witnessed a high on quality encounter. Sachintha Maduranga came close to make it 1-0 in favour of the Joesphians when he outmuscled Mohamed Sajid but his effort from an acute angle was a touch too wide of the target.
Hameed Al Husseinie looked dangerous in the break but the Josephian defense led by the ever so reliable Mayuraka Perera made sure the match stayed in balance.
Asela Madushan produced the moment of the match in the 51st minute with a scintillating run from the half line. He outpaced three defenders and chipped past the tall Hameedian goalkeeper but his effort could only rattle the crossbar.
Asela Madushan had another chance to put his name in to the scoresheet but he made a mess of one of the easiest opportunities he will ever get. He had only the goalkeeper to beat but he dragged the shot wide.
Aman Faizer, the Ratnam player and the skipper of Hameed Al Husseinie College dropped himself back to midfield from the forward position in which he initially started off. The change seemed to work for the Armour Street boys as he distributed some wonderful through balls.
Both schools were one goal away from booking a place in the finals as the clock ticked towards the last few minutes of the match. The elusive goal never arrived as referee signaled the end of the proceedings as both teams went on to decide their fate through penalties.
Full time: Hameed Al Husseinie College 0 – 0 St. Joseph’s College
Mohamad Sajid was the first one up and he calmly slotted the ball low right into the net to give Hameedians the early advantage. The highest goal scorer for St. Joseph’s College, Sachintha Maduranga sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to level things up.
Mohamad Aman who had a great outing regained the lead with another successful penalty. Nimesh Salinda for St. Joseph’s unfazed by the pressure scored his penalty to even things up again.
Hameedian center back Mohamed Fazil’s powerful strike was too hard for the goalkeeper to save. Asela Madushan made it 3 all with an unfussy strike to put the pressure back on the Hameedians.
Mohamed Rishan crumbled to the pressure as he missed the target. With advantage on their side, the Josephian youngster, Chamath Rashmitha who missed the decisive penalty in his last game against St. Peter’s College made no mistake this time as he scored the penalty.
With pressure mounting on Hameed Al Husseinie, Sandaru stepped up to keep his team in contention. Despite sending the goalkeeper the wrong way he missed the target to send St. Joseph’s College into the finals.
Penalty Shootout – Hameed Al Husseinie College 0 (3) – 0 (4) St. Joseph’s College
ThePapare.com Player of the Match: Mayuraka Perera (St. Joseph’s College)
Speaking to ThePapare.com, the winning coach Sampath,
“Both teams displayed a great game and we played well defensively. After losing the Joe Pete match, the pressure was on the boys but the players responded well. Both missed chances especially Asela Madushan, but we made sure we didn’t drop our heads and made it”
Hameed Al Hussenie Coach had some words after a heart breaking loss;
“It was a really great game and credit should go to St. Joseph’s. We missed a chance in the third minute and that was the turning point of the match. The players were not fully fit but we played today as it was the semifinals but unfortunately you can’t say what will happen in the penalties.
It was a classic encounter from two quality sides who produced a wonderful display of football. Hameed Al Husseinie College will look back at the missed chances while St. Joseph’s will celebrate a historic victory.
The result means St. Joseph’s College will face Holy Cross College with whom they have developed a new rivalry in recent times.
Hameed Al Husseinie College – Mohamad Sajid (pen), Mohamed Aman (pen), Mohamed Fazil (pen)
St. Joseph’s College – Sachintha Maduranga (pen), Nimesh Salinda (pen), Asela Madushan (pen), Chamath Rashmitha (pen)
Hameed Al Husseinie College – Mohamad Aman 06’, Mohamad Rishan 29’
St. Joseph’s College – Jayson Fernando 10’, Chamath Rashmitha 74’