Blue Eagles and Colombo qualified for the finals of the Vantage FFSL President’s Cup 2020 recording hard-fought victories over Java Lane and Red Stars respectively, via penalty shootouts at the Sugathadasa Stadium.
Blue Eagles v Java Lane – Semi Final
Blue Eagles emerged victorious over Java Lane 4-3 on penalties in the first semi-final after the match ended 2-2 in a closely contested encounter.
Java Lane qualified for the semi-finals overcoming Defenders SC 3-1 on penalties in the quarter finals as both teams failed to find the back of the net by the end of regulation time. Blue Eagles made their way into the semi-finals owing to a violation of tournament rules by New Star despite their 1-2 loss in the quarter finals.
Blue Eagles kicked off the game with their attacking shoes on, scoring twice in the first 12 minutes of the game courtesy of goals from Nethma Malshan and Kavindu Ishan respectively.
Although both teams missed out on a plethora of goalscoring opportunities in the remainder of the first-half, Java Lane got themselves back in the game at the start of second-half with Malaka Perera finding the back of the net through a penalty.
Chances went abegging at both ends of the pitch in the second-half as well. When it seemed as if Blue Eagles would hold their lead it was Jude Naveen that turned out for Java Lane putting the ball back in the net with just a few minutes left on the clock to equalize and force a penalty shootout.
Full Time – Blue Eagles 2 – 2 Java Lane
Java Lane’s 3rd and 5th penalties taken by Mohamed Abdulla and Francis Chikebura respectively went out of the target, whereas, although Chathuranga Fernando missed the first Blue Eagles penalty they held their nerve to score the next 4 and reserve their place in the finals.
Penalty Shootout – Blue Eagles 4 – 3 Java Lane
Blue Eagles – Nethma Malshan 9’, Kavindu Ishan 12’
Java Lane – Malaka Perera 48’(P), Naveen Jude 87’
Colombo v Red Stars – Semi Final
Colombo FC secured their spot in the finals defeating Red Stars 3-2 on penalties after the game concluded 2-2 at the end of regulation time.
Colombo qualified for the semi-finals recording a dominant 3-0 victory over Police in the quarters, while Red Stars made their way into this match defeating Serendib 5-3 in what was an enthralling game of football.
It was the lads from Colombo that found their feet early on with Shabeer Razooniya and Mohamed Aakib scoring goals in the 13th and 22nd minutes handing their team a 2-goal cushion over the opposition.
However, Red Stars found their rhythm in the second-half with an impressive attacking display as they scored their first goal of the night just 10 minutes into the second-half with Mohamed Rahman heading in a rebound off his own effort which bounced off the crossbar.
They kept the momentum going and eventually was rewarded with the equalizer in the 73rd minute with Rahman delivering a beautiful ball into the box from a free-kick for an unmarked Dananjaya Wijesinghe to easily head it home.
Red Stars skipper Mohamed Ramees was sent off for a second bookable offence but they held on to force the game into a penalty shootout.
Full Time – Colombo 2 – 2 Red Stars
The 2nd to 4th penalties of Red Stars were failed attempts with 2 of them hitting the woodwork and the other sailing over the crossbar. Colombo FC managed to absorb the pressure and score their final 3 penalties to clinch the win 3-2 on penalties despite Mohamed Fazal and Rawme Mohideen missing the first 2 spot kicks.
Penalty Shootout – Colombo 3 – 2 Red Stars
Colombo – Shabeer Razooniya 13’, Mohamed Aakib 22’
Red Stars – Mohamed Rahman 55’, Dananjaya Wijesinghe 73’