Maris Stella outbattle Mahajana into semis
Maris Stella College scored two goals in either half as they fought hard to defeat Mahajana College 2-0 in the quarter-final of ThePapare Football Championship 2018 at the Sugathadasa Stadium.
Maris Stella College proved their worth, topping Group B with 10 points over second place St. Patrick’s College who finished with 8 points. Mahajana College, Jaffna meanwhile finished second in Group C with 8 points, 2 points behind group leaders, Zahira College, Colombo.
Mahajana kicked off the first half, but it was Maris Stella who found the back of the net first in the 3rd minute. A free-kick struck into the box by Tharinda Silva was smashed into the back of the net, but the flag had been raised for offside.
Maris Stella were the more attacking side in the first half, with majority of the play taking place in the opposition half.
Tharinda Silva, tournament’s leading goal-scorer with 7 goals, had a shot from just inside the box, which took a deflection, making it an easy save for Shanmugaratnam Lakshan. Thereafter he broke into the box, however with a couple of defenders between him and the goal, he struck the ball straight at a defender.
Mahajana’s Mahendran Sujeepan scuffed a golden chance after skipper Shashikumar Kanujan found him with a cut back but with only the goalkeeper Prakash Perera to beat, he shot wide.
Rajindu Fernando struck a free-kick from long-range, which required Lakshan to punch it over the crossbar at the expense of a corner. Rajindu was allowed a free header from a Tharinda corner kick, which he directed into the back of the net to give Maris Stella the lead minutes before the break.
Half Time - Maris Stella College 1 – 0 Mahajana College
Mahajana had a lively start to the 2nd half putting pressure on the lads from Negombo as they mounted attack after attack. Kanujan almost gave Mahajana their much-needed equalizer after a good strike from the edge of the box had Perera beaten, but the ball struck the upright before rolling along the goal-line where the goalkeeper gratefully pounced on it.
Against the run of play Tharinda Silva earned a penalty for Maris Stella after he was cut down by a defender while trying to dribble past him. Tharinda stepped up and smashed the spot kick into the roof of the net to increase his incredible tally to 8 goals.
Kanujan had a final chance for his side when he brilliantly struck a free-kick towards the top corner, but Perera made a stunning save to deny the boys from Jaffna.
Full Time - Maris Stella College 2 – 0 Mahajana College
- ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Tharinda Silva (Maris Stella College)
Goal Scorers Maris Stella College – Rajindu Fernando 41’, Tharinda Silva 58’
Bookings Yellow Cards Mahajana College – Varatharasa Jackson 79’, Thangarasa Sujeepan 81’, Sanmuganathan Mohangeethan 87’