Zahira College, Colombo demolished Kinniya Central College 5-0 to win the 3rd place encounter of the U18 Division I Schools’ Football Championship 2018 played today (13th Jan) at the Sugathadasa Stadium.
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Kinniya Central College suffered 0-4 defeat against St. Joseph’s College, Colombo while Zahira College suffered a surprising defeat at the hands of Royal College, Colombo on penalties after the game ended 1-1 at the end of the regular time.
Kinniya Central were dealt with a huge blow in the 1st minute when goalkeeper Mohamed Mursith suffered a head injury due to a collision with a Zahira forward and Mohamed Sifas had to take on goalkeeping until Mohamed Ahsan was subbed on for the task few minutes later.
However, the boys from Kinniya Central started throwing questions at the Zahira defence right from the onset through counter attacks and their wingers; Rifkan Ahamed through the left flank and Mohamed Musaraf through the right.
Rifkan was awarded with an opportunity to take his team in front as a cross from Musaraf found him open in the box, but Abdul Razzak denied him with an interception with Rifkan taking too long to fabricate a shot.
Zahira found their feet as the game went on and were awarded with a free-kick from close range, but Hasan Raza could only hit it over the crossbar.
They had the creativity to concoct another few goal scoring opportunities which they could not convert due to poor ball controlling and resilient Kinniya defence.
However, Zahira broke the deadlock in the 35th minute through a mesmerizing goal from Mohamed Sajid. He found the ball at his feet just outside the box, through a poor clearance, brilliantly dribbled past three defenders to take the ball close before driving it calmly into the back of the net.
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Kinniya almost struck back immediately after the restart as a cross from Musaraf found Aasif Ahamed inside the box, but he could only thump it wide.
They had another two easy opportunities to equalize in the last few moments of the first half but was let down by their poor finishing in the final third. It was Aasif who missed both the opportunities from point blank range; the first to a cross from Musharaf which was hit wide and the second to a corner by Musharaf which was rocketed over the crossbar.
Half time – Zahira College 1 – 0 Kinniya Central College
The first few minutes of the second half went down the drain with neither being able to create any stark goal scoring opportunities.
Then, Ahsan pulled off a brilliant save off Sajid from close range pushing the ball for a corner. Sajid who took the resulting corner floated the ball into the box and Mohamed Akthar coolly headed it home handing Zahira a two-goal cushion lead.
Sajid was gifted with another opportunity through a counter which he could only glide just wide of the posts. Musaraf’s feeble attempt on goal from point blank range was cleared away by the Zahira defence but found the feet of Sifas who failed to get ball under his control to take a shot.
Kinniya had no option but to push bodies forward and were exposed by the vicious Zahira attack that ran riot an added three more to their goal tally sealing the game in style. It was Razzak, Mohamed Mushfir and Raza that got their names on the score sheet with easy shots on goal from inside the box.
Kinniya found the ball back in the net just before the end of the game but was ruled out by the linesman for off-side.
Full time – Zahira College 5 – 0 Kinniya Central College
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Hasan Raza (Zahira College)
Zahira College – Mohamed Sajid 36’, Mohamed Akthar 54’, Abdul Razzak 77’, Mohamed Mushfir 81’, Hasan Raza 83’
Zahira College – Nizam Nabeel 70’
Kinniya Central College – Mohamed Ihsan 58’