Ginthota Zahira College shocked favourites St. Peter’s College, Colombo with a 2-0 win in a group D match in ThePapare Football Championship 2018 at the St. Peter’s College Grounds.
St. Peter’s came into this game without their star man Shabeer Razooniya who was called up to the National team for the friendly against Malaysia on 13th October, and was therefore rested from this fixture.
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The Zahirians were sloppy in possession as they gave away the ball far too cheaply on many occasions. Most of the action took place inside the Zahira half, but the Zahira defense held strong not letting the Peterites through.
That however, did not stop Mohamed Ihsan breaking through the defense in the 19th minute and striking a powerful shot, but the crossbar came to the rescue of Ginthota Zahira.
The lads from Ginthota came very close from a set-piece next when a brilliantly struck free-kick from Abdul Rahman went inches over the crossbar.
Aqeel Nizar missed another chance for the Peterites with just the goalkeeper to beat and moments later the Zahirians came back to haunt them for the squandered opportunities. Abdul Rahman scored to the top corner with a brilliant strike from outside the box beating Isravelu Mithurshan at his near post.
Abdul tested the defense and created chances as Ginthota Zahira grew into the game after a poor start. Just before half time they got a golden chance to double the lead.
An Abdul Rahman corner struck brilliantly into the box was misjudged by the defense and Mithurshan but Rasheed Rahman with the goal at his mercy could only tap the ball onto the upright from point blank range.
Half Time – St. Peter’s College 0 – 1 Ginthota Zahira College
Zahira had a guided effort just missing the far post and Mithurshan diving to punch the ball away from a dangerous cross before his defense cleared early in the 2nd half. The hosts were almost gifted a goal when a sliced clearance looped towards the goal but Haider Hasny was alert to palm it over the crossbar.
Hasny was called into action once again to deny a Shehan Liyanapathirana free-kick. Liyanapathirana was then fouled inside the box but the resulting penalty was poorly struck by Arjunan Praveen as Hasny blocked it with his feet. The rebound too was dragged wide by Praveen with the goalkeeper still recovering.
Minutes later Praveen almost made amends for his miss, but his sweetly struck volley from outside the box was blocked by Hasny. Peterites were not clinical in front of goal and without Shabeer Razooniya failed to unlock the stout Ginthota Zahira defense.
Zahira who seemed to have stunned their opponents into making mistake after mistake capitalized yet again as Abdul found his skipper Mohamed Arshad with a brilliant diagonal ball over the back line. Arshad had little trouble in sending the ball over the goalkeeper to the far corner to make it 2-0 for the visitors.
The Ginthota Zahirians were not the fittest but were clinical and effective enough in front of the goal to come away with a surprise three points.
Full Time – St. Peter’s College 0 – 2 Ginthota Zahira College
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Haider Hasny (Ginthota Zahira College)
Ginthota Zahira College – Abdul Rahman 28’, Mohamed Arshad 74’