Air Force grounded by SLTB; Ratnam, Colombo FC into Quarters

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Sri Lanka Transportation Board created the biggest upset in the Cargills FA Cup 2013/14 when they beat the Champions League Champions Air Force on penalties after they drew 0-0 at the end of full time at the Vernon Fernando Stadium, Kalutara.

SLTB qualified to play in the Pre Quarter Final of the FA Cup after over 3 decades. SLTB when it was known as CTB in the 70’s was a very formidable team who has won the FA Cup and Janaraja Cup beating all glamour teams in the country .They had the likes of R.M.U Mahindapala, Pala Wijesekara, Sohan, Rodney Fernando, Muslafir, Laksman Weraduwage , Lional Pieris and many Sri Lanka’s best known stars to steer them for victory.

Airmen who looked very relaxed at the beginning soon found that the newly emerged opponents were not an easy outfit. In the initial stages Air Force goalkeeper was sent flying to the right corner of the goal to prevent a floater by the SLTB main striker. Both teams played open football but it became a long torrid evening for Air Force as the SLTB defense frustrated their strikers with stout defending.  

After it ended nill all SLTB beat Airforce 6-5 on penalties to advance to the Quarter Finals. Credit should go to both Goalkeepers who had an excellent game making spectacular saves to thrill thousands of football fanatic fans. It was a repetition of the Janaraja Cup when they beat Air Force way back in 1974. 

Ratnam escapes from the Lions

Ratnam defeated Up-Country Lions 5-4 on penalties after the match ended in a one all draw. The match was played at the Gampaha Sri Bodhi grounds which was developed by FIFA and will be a new venue for all FFSL conducted tournaments. It further amplifies the FFSL’s vision to spread the game in the country.

Up country Lions played a good game despite losing to the much fancied Ratnams. Ratnam went into halftime with a 1-0 lead. In the second half Up Country Lions African player Patrick Wilson was sent off and they were reduced to 10 players. But the forwards combining well managed to draw at the end but luck was not in their inside as they lost on penalties.

Colombo FC hold off New Youngs

The thousands of football fans in Gampaha should be pleased to see such interesting and exiting football in the newly developed FFSL Football Complex where the Cargills Food City FA Cup Pre Quarter Final was played this week.

The game was at its best when Wennapuwa New Youngs met the free scoring Colombo FC. New Youngs did not have a good Champions League and were unable to qualify for the knockout stage of that tournament. They had done well in the FA Cup to reach the Pre Quarters while Colombo FC along with their main striker C.T.Francis are always a thorn in the side of any team. With both teams scoring in regular intervals but at the end of the day Colombo FC managed to down New Youngs by 3 goals to 2.  

Until the final whistle it was anybody’s game and both teams had many opportunities to score but lacked direction. New Youngs opened the scoring in just the 4th minute of a converted scissors kick by Mohammed Mooshaq as Colombo FC had not settled by then to make it 1-0. Colombo FC did not panic and started attacking heavily in next couple of minute and managed to equalize in the 6th minute through an individual dribbling spectacular by Mohammed Zain  to make it 1-1. The game went on with the same score 1-1 at the half time.

After lemons Colombo FC scored off a rebound off the post which went back to the net beating the New Youngs goal keeper to make it 2-1 for Colombo FC. Then in the next 2 minutes New Youngs scored off an indirect kick by their Mannar soccer star Premius and made it 2-2.

But Colombo FC fought back with the two Nigerians playing an untiring game for them and scored the winning goal to seal the victory in the 71st minute through a 25 yard free kick to make it 3 goals to 2.