looks back at the 4 teams that finished at the bottom in the group stage in the 2016 Dialog Champions League.

DCL16 – Super 8 Performance Review

A frustrating yet intense 8 month long 2016 Dialog Champions League ended with…

Group A

Civil Security SC

With 0 points in 8 games, Civil Security SC was the worst performing team in the DCL 2016. They went in as potential relegation candidates and their performances did nothing to alleviate any of the doubts people had of their ability to remain in the top flight. They do have players who can bring them back to the top flight, but that journey will be a long one.

Matara City

After narrowly avoiding relegation last season, Matara City find themselves dropping down a division at the end of the latest edition of the DCL. With 7 points from 8 games, Matara City had the highest points among the 4 relegated teams.

A surprise win over Blue Star SC at the Vernon Fernando Stadium was undoubtedly the highlight of their season with another win over Civil Security SC and another creditable draw against Solid SC helping them to pick up their 7 points. They will look back at the narrow 1-0 loss against Upcountry Lions as a result they could have averted in hopes of remaining in the DCL for another season.

Group B

Thihariya Youth

Another team that narrowly avoided the drop last season, to drop down to the first division. Thihariya Youth picked up 2 points from 8 games with draws against Java Lane and Police SC, the only source of their points.

Their last gasp goal against Java Lane proved to be a key incident that also contributed to their opponents, one of Sri Lanka’s most followed clubs, being relegated at the end of the season. They will prove to be a force in division 1 however, and a quick return to the top flight could well be on the cards.

Java Lane

A team that has one of the biggest fan followings in the local football arena find themselves in the embarrassing position of being relegated from the top flight. Java Lane picked up just 6 points in 8 games.

A remarkable victory over Air Force was as good as the season got, with a draw against Thihariya Youth and points dropped at home against New Youngs and Police SC ultimately proving very costly. They struggled to adapt tactically in many of their games, often finding themselves unable to close out a game, or conceding early on in matches.

With skipper Mohamed Rizkhan out for most of the season through injury, Java Lane used Janaka Chaminda further up the field for most of the season which resulted in them failing to get the best out of him and their defence also suffering.

Some positives for them however have been that Naveen Jude appears to be a real superstar and that they have been able to hold on to some of their best players for the next season. Recent performances in the City League Presidents trophy also seem to suggest that a top flight return next season is more a probability than a possibility.