St. Joseph’s College, Colombo scored late in the game as they defeated Royal College, Colombo 2-1 after a closely contested battle in the final of the U18 Division I Schools’ Football Championship played today (13) at the Sugathadasa Stadium.
A disciplined Royal College shocked the giants Zahira …
St. Joesph’s College booked their place in the final with a massive 4-0 win over Kinniya Central College in the semi-finals while Royal College surprised Zahira College by overcoming them on penalties after the game 1-1 at the end of the regular time.
The game got underway with Joes holding onto possession with some attacking football with Shenal Sandesh upfront, whereas Royal fancied their chances wholly on the counter. However, neither were able to create any stark goal scoring opportunities in the opening minutes of the game.
Royal stuck to the same defensive approach they used in the semi-finals to dismantle Zahira and were successful again as they managed to hold the fort to the frustration of the Josephians.
Sasun Rashminda had a shot on goal from close range to a Jonathan Thomas corner, but it was weakened on the way as it brushed past a defender which forced an easy save from the Royal goalkeeper Mohamed Asad.
Royal’s best chance in the first half came when they were awarded with a free-kick from close range, but Shishan Prabudda could only strike it over the crossbar. Royal had their fair share of chances through counter attacks but lacked creativity and finishing to make them count.
Read More: Joes ease past Kinniya Central
Sandesh found the ball at his feet inside the box but failed get it under control to fabricate a shot with Asad coming off his line to disrupt him.
Royal were awarded with a free-kick just before the end of the first half and Shishan Prabudda, who is known for his long range free-kicks could only hit it just wide of the posts.
Half time – St. Joesph’s College 0 – 0 Royal College
Joes found the start that they were looking for early in the second half as Sandesh was fouled inside the box by Prabudda in which the referee had no hesitation in pointing towards the penalty spot. Sandesh stepped up for the spot kick and perfectly placed it to the bottom left despite Asad judging it correctly.
Royal quickly changed their gear into attacking mode in search of an equalizer and were rewarded with it through a brilliant half-volley from Mohamed Ameen. Mohamed Manafdeen, who changed the game for Royal coming in as a substitute, found Ameen open on the edge of the box who struck it past Sasindu Jayasinghe leaving him no opportunity whatsoever.
Few minutes later, Sandesh had only Asad to beat and his chip over the goalkeeper who was off his line was safely cleared away by the Royal defence despite it being off target.
Royal were awarded with a free-kick around 35 yards out and Prabudda’s effort this time just went over the bar.
Royal then got things under their control for a few minutes as Chenura Dias forced two saves from Sasindu. The first was an easy save where Chenura hit the ball directly at him from just outside the box, while the second was a sharp save off a header from point blank range.
Minutes later Asad kept Royal in the game with a brilliant save coming out of his line off Kavindya Rupasinghe.
However, Joes re-established their lead in the dying minutes of the game through Rupasinghe, who headed home an easy goal from close range off a Pathum Gimhan cross that found him all open at the far post.
Royal tried their best to make things even, but Joes managed to hold onto their lead, being crowned champions for the third consecutive year.
Full time – St. Joseph’s College 2 – 1 Royal College
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Kavindya Rupasinghe (St. Joseph’s College)
- Golden Boot – Shenal Sandesh (St. Joseph’s College)
- Golden Glove – Mohamed Asad (Royal College)
- Golden Ball – Shenal Sandesh (St. Joseph’s College)
St. Joseph’s College – Shenal Sandesh 50’, Kavindya Rupasinghe 90’
Royal College – Mohamed Ameen 58’
St. Joseph’s College – Sachinthaka Perera 44’, Kavindya Rupasinghe 90+3’
Royal College – Shishan Prabuddha 77’