St. Joseph’s College came from two goals down in the final four minutes to equalize and eventually defeat St. Peter’s College 4-3 on penalties at the 28th Joe-Pete Football Encounter at the CR&FC grounds.
With this win the Josephians won back the Fr. Stanley Abeysekara & Fr. Joe E. Wickramasinghe Trophy after a lapse of three years.
A delayed kick-off amidst heavy rain saw the match being reduced to 35 minutes per half. The two teams struggled to assert themselves into the game under muddy and slippery conditions.
Both teams had multiple shots at goal but all of them lacked direction and venom. A twisting and turning Shabeer Razooniya saw two chances going a-begging for the Peterites while Asela Madushan and Chalana Pramantha missed good chances for the Josephians.
An unmarked Jason Fernando failed to control a Pramantha cross right in-front of the goal as a few minutes later St. Peter’s College took the lead with the stunning goal. Mohamed Ihsan curled in a corner leaving Marshal Kodikara in a tangle, who could not stop the ball from sinking under the crossbar.
Half time – St. Peter’s College 1 – 0 St. Joseph’s College
As the rain subsided the 2nd half grew into a lively affair with the visitors, St. Joseph’s College, getting the equalizer. Jason Fernando was again at the end of a Pramantha cross but his header crashed off the crossbar from lose range. Seconds later Madushan had a goal disallowed for off-side.
Senal Sandesh missed a diving header at the near post off a Pramantha. Pramanth continued to wreak havoc on the Peterite right wing.
A frantic minute midway into the 2nd half saw the pendulum swing both ways before Shabeer doubled the lead for the Peterites.
Shabeer had a goal disallowed due to off-side and straight away Joes went on the counter with Sandesh getting a weak touch, off a Madushan cross, from close range allowing Isravelu Mithurshan an easy collection. Mithurshan’s long punt was flicked into the path of Shabeer who took a well calculated shot to make it 2-0 for the hosts.
A partially cleared cross, with the goalkeeper off his lines, was cleared off the goal line by Shabeer as it looked like the Peterites would again go home with victory. However, with four minutes left Joes were handed a lifeline when Jayaram Nilukshan guided the ball into his own net from a Sandesh cross.
With time running out, the Josephians pushed men forward in search of the equalizer which left space behind. Mohamed Ihsan went clean through on one of those occasions and beat Kodikara with a good strike. However, his celebrations proved premature as the ball sliced away from the goal.
The tactical change of bringing Shabeer into a defensive role came back to haunt the Peterites as Kaviendya Rupasinghe, who had come on a few minutes earlier, volleyed the ball taking a slight deflection to equalize in the final minute sending the Josephian fans into ecstasy.
Full time – St. Peter’s College 2 – 2 St. Joseph’s College
With the penalty shootout taking place to decide the winner, Sandesh converted for Joes before Kodikara saved the Ihsan penalty.
Pramantha dragged his penalty wide as Ruzaik Ahamed, Rupasinghe, Brandon Aldo, Chamath Rashmitha, Daniel McGrath and Asela Madushan scored leaving Mithurshan to score his to keep the Peterite hopes alive.
Unfortunately for the hosts Mithurshan struck a horror penalty straight into the hands of Kodikara, as the St. Joseph’s players and fans thronged to celebrate the victory
Penalty Shootout – St. Peter’s College 2(3) – 2(4) St. Joseph’s College
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Chalana Pramantha
- Best Player (SPC) – Mohamed Ihsan
- Best Player (SJC) – Chalana Pramantha
- Man of the Match – Chalana Pramantha
St. Peter’s College – Mohamed Ihsan 27’, Shabeer Razooniya 57’
St. Joseph’s College – Jayaram Nilukshan (OG) 67’, Kaviendya Rupasinghe 70’