Colombo FC have risen rapidly through the ranks of the Sri Lankan football scene, emerging champions in the 2014-15 FA Cup and following that success up with a Dialog Champions League trophy in 2015.

Photos: Colombo FC Squad for 2017 AFC Qualifiers

Photos of the Colombo FC Squad for 2017 AFC Qualifiers.

Though their form in the 2016/17 Dialog Champions League was patchy during the group stage, their biggest clash of their relatively short existence, against India’s oldest, most established club, Mohun Bagan AC, comes at a time when they have rediscovering their best from.

The first leg of their AFC Cup qualifier against the Indian giants will be worked off at the Race Course International Stadium on the 31st of January at 3:30pm and takes a look at what to expect from a rather new look Colombo FC outfit.

Good Form

Since the Super 8 stage resumed on the 6th of January, Colombo FC is a rejuvenated team, racking up some impressive results on the way.

First there was a 3-0 thrashing of Solid SC, who was top of the table at that point, which was followed up by a comeback 2-1 win over Air Force.

They saved their best for last week though when they downed fierce rivals Army SC 2-1 in an absolute blockbuster of a clash.

Red cards & late goals; Colombo FC defeats Army

In a match full of drama Colombo FC managed to pull up a late goal through Zarwan Johar to defeat title…

Key for Colombo FC has been the form of their leaders on the pitch and Momas Yapo, Zarwan Johar and Nagur Meera have been very impressive these past few weeks. Expect them to play a key role in the clash.

New Signings

Colombo FC have brought it in some impressive players ahead of the two legged tie and two players nearly certain to be involved in the clash will be center-back Nasiru Opayemi and left back Chalana Chameera.

Both of them have been very impressive for their clubs and it’ll be interesting to see how they fit in with the likes of Mohamed Ramees and Afeel Mohamed in defence.

Colombo FC strengthens squad for AFC Cup qualifiers

Colombo FC has added eight new players to their squad for the upcoming AFC Cup Preliminary Qualifiers…

Amongst other players brought in Charitha Ratnayake and Dilan Kaushalya will provide reliable cover in defence whilst Ruwan Arunasiri will also likely be cover for Mohamed Imran in goal.

Further up the pitch new signing Mohamed Rifnaz is going to play a big role, being reunited with his former school mate Zarwan Johar. The two have the ability and the understanding to make the difference in the tightest of games and Colombo FC will be hoping they click.

Veterans Mohamed Issadeen and E.B.Channa have also been brought in for the clash and the two experienced heads, though it is likely that only one of the pair may start.

The two forwards have been in impressive form this season for their clubs and Colombo FC will be hoping that form can be replicated on the 31st. E.B. Channa is one of the few Sri Lankan players to have played in the I-League, representing Dempo for a short period of time and his experience there may prove handy for them.



Colombo FC generally enjoys the lion’s share of possession in their games and they do have the players with the required technical ability to play that style of football even in this clash.

With Head Coach Mohamed Roomy they have one of, if not Sri Lanka’s best master tactician who can surprise with his team lineup and formation.

However Mohun Bagan are a well drilled team and at the top of the I-League at the moment and hence they will be pressed hard when in possession.

Rampant Mohun Bagan looking for early dominance

Mohun Bagan AC is India’s oldest football club, formed way back 1889 as Mohun Bagan Sporting Club. They are one of India’s most successful teams..

Colombo FC would do well to keep hold of the ball when they can and much will depend on how well they play on the counter. They were brilliant in the last game against Army and will hope they can replicate a similar performance against the visitors.

Possibly the most crucial aspect will be the Colombo FC defence, who have a rather new look about them. They will need to develop an understanding and quickly at that, if they are to keep the dangerous Mohun Bagan attackers, who boast the likes of India and ISL star, Jeje Lalpekhlua at bay.

The new personnel brought in certainly have the ability, but with defence it is often the understanding that builds a unit much more than just the sum of the parts.

Thoughts from the team

Colombo FC skipper Rawme Mohideen;

“Everyone knows Mohun Bagan and they are rated above us. We have been working a lot on our defensive work and fitness these few days. Our new signings Channa, Issadeen and Charith are experienced players and they will be important for us. The first leg is crucial because we will be playing at home, a 1-0 win is a minimum if we are to try and play for a draw in the second leg.”

Colombo FC coach Mohamed Roomy;

“This is a good opportunity for us to show our standard so we hope to play the tournament in good manner and give a good fight. We have a good mix of veterans and young players in the team and this will be a good opportunity for everyone. We are underdogs but we are determined to win this match.”

Colombo FC Squad

Rawme Mohideen (c) – Mohamed Ramees – Mohamed Imran – Prabath Ruwan Arunasiri – Ashik Mohamed – Nasiru Opayemi – Afeel Mohamed – Chalana Chameera – Charitha Rathnayake – Momas Yapo – Mohamed Mufees – Zarwan Johar – Mohamed Rifnaz – Mohamed Issadeen – E.B.Channa – Dilan Kaushalya – Afis Olayemi – Tuan Rizni – David Osagie – Shafran Sathar – Nagur Meera – Niran Kanishka – Vikum Kumarasiri – Mohamed Shifan – Siraj Mohamed – Danushka Madushanka

Catch the match LIVE on on the 31st of January 2017 at 3.30pm