Zahira College Colombo made a strong start to their ThePapare U20 Football Championship campaign, beating Gateway College Colombo 5-1.
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Gateway College, debutants in the competition, put up a fighting display, despite losing 5-1 to a very strong Zahira College Team. Sri Lanka National team cap, Mohamed Aakib, started upfront with U19 representatives Mohamed Sajid, Mohamed Shakir and Mohamed Mushfir while Rumy Raza also took the field.
Zahira started strong in the early part of the game and looked dominant. Gateway, on the other hand, showed a glimpse of what they could offer with some good phases of play.
Shareeq Ahamed opened the scoring for the Maradana boys with an impressive effort from outside the box. With the goal, Zahira looked more dominant and went in for more.
Showing off some creativity, Mohamed Sajid finished off with a header after a good cross from the left-wing by Shareeq Ahamed. Mohamed Aakib then converted a through ball after initiating the move in the midfield.
Zahira went into the break with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
The second half started with Gateway moving positively on the offensive. The Zahira midfield looked to have released pressure, giving the Gateway boys room to play. Areeb Niyas was in thick of things for Gateway, along with Samunu Kaggodaarachchi.
Samunu Kaggodaarachchi then capitalized on an error made by the Zahira defense and got a goal back.
Zahira responded with 2 more goals through Mohamed Sajid and Mohamed Aakib converted from the spot to give the Maradana boys a comfortable scoreline of 5-1.
Gateway College: Samunu Kaggodaarachchi 53’
Zahira College: Shareeq Ahamed 16’, Mohamed Sajid 21’, 68’, Mohamed Aakib 28’, 83’
Gateway College: Abdul Basith 60’