A disciplined Royal College shocked the giants Zahira College 4-3 on penalties, after the game ended 1-1 in regulation time, in the U18 Division I Schools’ Football Championship 2018 semi-final played at the Sugathadasa Stadium.
Royal College has completed the signing of Mohamed Roomy as the Head Coach …
Zahira qualified for the final four after beating Hameed Al Husseinie College 2-0 in the quarter-finals, while Royal College produced another outstanding performance to defeat St. Patrick’s College, Jaffna 3-1 on penalties after that too ended 1-1. Zahira had earlier defeated Royal 1-0 in the group stage.
With the kick-off at 2.00pm it meant that both sides got off to a sedate start. Royal were compact in defense, often hounding the Zahira forwards while the Zahirians found it hard to break down the disciplined Royal defense.
Mohamed Mashoodh got the ball inside the box, but his first touch was too heavy, allowing Royal goalkeeper Mohamed Asad to dive and push the ball away before skipper Tishan Prabudda cleared it to safety.
Royal got a couple of deep free-kicks, and though the deliveries were good from Prabudda none of the Royal players were able to make use of it while Mohamed Ammar had his teasing low-cross intercepted by a diving Mohamed Shakir.
Zahira going on the counter-attack, Mashoodh cut back found Mohamed Sajid, who rolled the ball under the keeper into the back of the net, but the flag was raised for offside.
Moments later Asad was called into a double save after his initial save fell to Mashoodh, who attempted a strike from the edge of the box but Asad leapt and smothered the ball it in the end.
Half Time: Zahira College 0 – 0 Royal College
Mohamed Sajid finally broke the deadlock in the 49th minute after he drove into the opposition box and showed great skill to beat his man before a powerful strike had Asad completely beaten to make it 1-0.
Read More: Zahira in a narrow win against Royal
Hasan Riza then created another opportunity when he broke through the Royal defence and attempted a fancy finish that went just wide of the post. Mohamed Shaeen had a free-kick from a dangerous area, struck straight at Asad.
Royal did not lose their composure after going down and were duly rewarded with the equalizer. Inaam-ul-Islam who troubled the Zahira defense on a few occasions with his long throw-ins, created panic inside the box with another.
Taking advantage of it, Mohamed Nafees forced Shakir into a diving save but the rebound fell to Usman Ahamed who slotted home from an acute angle much to the delight of the fans and players alike.
Zahirians suffered with cramps throughout the 2nd half while surprisingly it was the Royalists, masterminded by coach Mohamed Roomy tactically, with better fitness and strength, who finished off the 90 minutes on a high.
Full Time: Zahira College 1 – 1 Royal College
Both captains, Hasan Raza and Tishan Prabudda expertly converted their penalties. Royal’s M. Kavishka gave a 2-1 lead before Mohamed Akthar had his penalty saved by Asad. Shakir saved Sajidh’s penalty but still Zahira were not able to make most of it as Mohamed Mushfir fired his straight at the up-right.
Shakir had an easy save from Inaam-ul-Islam, who shot straight, and the goal scorer for Zahira, Sajid made it 2-2 with his penalty. After Mohamed Ammar slipped and skied his penalty the pendulum swung towards Zahira but Asad saved Mohamed Shaeen’s effort with his foot to take the penalty shootout into sudden death.
Chenura Dias and Sahil Ahamed converted in the 6th set of penalties. Asad stepped up to calmly roll the ball into the net and then dived full length to deny Hasan Riza, securing a famous win for Royal.
Penalty Shootout: Zahira College 3 – 4 Royal College
- ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Mohamed Asad (Royal College)
Zahira College – Mohamed Sajid 29’
Royal College – Usman Ahamed 66′
Zahira College – Hasan Raza 46’