Thihariya Youth’s relentless attack in the second half proved futile as Mohomed Mushikan’s first half goal was enough for New Youngs to claim victory at the Sugathadasa Stadium.
Thihariya Youth who are banned from hosting their home matches at the Sri Bodhi Grounds, were backed by their fans who had travelled all the way from Thihariya. New Youngs have found their rhythm mid-way through the season and are on a winning streak with their three Japanese players at the heart of it.
As expected it was the New Youngs who dominated the first half with their Japanese playmaker Marvyama Ryuya pulling the strings. Madushan Fernando drove to the byline and his cut back was met by Karunarathne but his effort was saved by the goalkeeper.
Thihariya Youth goalkeeper was again called into action when Toshiya Hosoe struck a fierce low drive which needed a brilliant save.
Mid-way through the first half Madushan Fernando’s diagonal ball picked out Mushikan who chested it and took a shot which was half stopped by the on rushing keeper, but Mushikan reacted quicker and headed the rebound into the empty net.
Marvyama was creating chances and one such opportunity fell to Mushikan but this time the goalkeeper did well to keep the score at 1-0. Mohomed Rajsheron had the ball in the net for Thihariya but he was deemed offside.
After lemons it was Thihariya Youth who came to play football with renewed energy while New Youngs were reduced to protect their one goal advantage. Thihariya Youth captain, Afeel Mohomed took a shot from 20 yards out which zipped past the diving New Youngs keeper Lakshan Fernando only to see the ball rattle off the crossbar and into safety.
Marvyama in the second half was anonymous after being deployed to the left from his usual attacking midfield position which made life easier for Thihariya.
Thihariya Youth had a few opportunities to equalize but were kept at bay by the organized New Youngs defense. One rare chance for New Youngs fell to Mushikan who tried to lob the ball over the keeper but his poor effort was saved.
With time running out and Thihariya pushing men forward in search of an equalizer, created space for New Youngs and were unlucky not to go 2-0 up when a diving header by Marvyama looped over the crossbar.