Slave Island’s own Zarwan Johar produced a scintillating performance in which he scored the equalizer and the winning penalty as Colombo FC defeated Java Lane 4-3 on penalties after it ended 1-1 in the City Football League President Cup Final at the City Football Complex.

Colombo FC entered the final defeating last year’s joint champions Renown SC 2-1, in a repeat of the Dialog Champions League decider showdown, while Java Lane had a comfortable 2-0 win against Moragasmulla SC.

Colombo trump Renown again in a heated encounter

In a rematch of the 2016 Dialog Champions League Football decider, Colombo FC once again prevailed 2-1 over Renown SC, a game marred…

It was an energetic start from the two rivals, who have a volatile history from the time they were in Division I, in front of an over flowing capacity crowd at Kew Points Road.

Java Lane would take the lead, amidst a raucous crowd, inside the first ten minutes as a marauding run from Mohamed Abdullah on the right saw him going towards the byline. With the goalkeeper Mohamed Imran rushing on, Abdullah clipped the ball towards the far post where it was met by a diving header from Naveen Jude.

Rizkan’s early brace sinks Morgasmulla

Java lane SC defeated Morgasmulla 2-0 to secure a spot in the City FL President’s Trophy Final 2017. Mohamed Rizkan scored twice for the slave-island lads…

Both sides produced entertaining yet physical football in a no quarter given encounter. Zarwan who plied his trade on this very City Football Complex ground was a cut above the rest with his chances created, game control and distribution.

Zarwan would test Java Lane goalkeeper Dammika Senerath on numerous occasions; with a long daisy cutter, a header from a corner and a bicycle kick which almost produced a wonder goal.

Afis Olayemi and Momas Yapo missed a couple of chances for the men in black while Janaka Chaminda and Mohamed Rizkhan battled valiantly in midfield for the hosts. Mohamed Aleem squandered a free header from a rare corner-kick which would have certainly given Java Lane the advantage.

Half time – Java Lane 1 – 0 Colombo FC     

Minutes into the 2nd half Colombo FC did equalize. After missing out on a goal, Zarwan did get a deserved reward from almost an identical goal scored by Java Lane.

Niran Kanishka sent a cross towards the far post where Dilan Kaushalya managed to send the out-going ball across the goal and Zarwan quickly pounced on it to score, followed by muted celebration.

The 2nd 45 minutes did not have the same energy as the first, but the tense atmosphere on and off the field kept the players and fans on the edge in a lively affair.

In the final few minutes Java Lane missed out on a few opportunities with the best being a free-kick just outside in the dying few seconds.

Full time – Java Lane 1 – 1 Colombo FC     

In the penalty shootout Malaka Perera and Olayemi would score for their respective sides. Lakmal Perera and Momas Yapo scored to keep it 2-2. In the 3rd penalty kick Mohamed Aleem scored for the hosts but a tame effort from Colombo FC skipper Rawme Mohideen was easily saved by Dammika Senerath.

Imran saved Rizkhan effort while Mohamed Ramees effort bounced off the upright to set up a match winning penalty for Java Lane. However youngster Naveen Jude could only produce a weak effort which Imran saved with his foot. Ahamed Shazny scored to make it 3-3 and sent the shootout into a sudden death situation.

After Imran saved Revin Kumar’s effort Zarwan stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to score and silence his childhood club and fans.

Penalty shootout – Java Lane 1(3) – 1(4) Colombo FC Player of the Match – Zarwan Johar     

Java Lane SC Assistant Coach Maxi Lettren had this to say after the heart breaking loss;

“Proud of how we played today as three of our players; Chandu (Janaka Chaminda), Aleem and Abdullah played with injuries. We have been playing really well in the last few matches and even defeated Renown in the group stage. We missed a match winning penalty. Unlucky you could say. We have young players and now targeting the FA Cup.”

A jubilant Mohamed Roomy expressed his thoughts with;

“It was a good game. Even though they scored early I knew we would score. I wasn’t under any pressure but we did miss a few chances. If we had scored them it would have been much easier. We dominated and it was a good game for the packed crowd.

Zarwan is performing consistently and his discipline and fitness is good. National team can expect more from him now. Nagur didn’t play because of his injury but it wasn’t felt much as Madushanka (Danushka) did his part well. Java Lane has improved and played well after the Champions League.”

Awards (City FL Committee)

Best Goalkeeper – Dammika Senerath

Player of the Final – Zarwan Johar

Fair Play Team – Colombo FC

Goal Scorers

Java Lane SC – Naveen Jude 9’

Colombo FC – Zarwan Johar 53’


Yellow cards

Java Lane SC – Fahim Nizamdeen 60’

Colombo FC – Ahamed Shazny 84’, Afis Olayemi 90+2’