Crystal Palace FC swung into a 3-1 victory against Saunders SC in the 2017 Dialog Champions League week 10 match held at the Kelaniya Football Complex.

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Struggling at the bottom half of the table, both Saunders and Crystal Palace came into the match desperately needing a win.

The match kick-started with a thundering call with Crystal Palace tussling a corner kick as the game took off yesterday at 3pm. The game took off notwithstanding the dark skies that continued to stay around.

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Despite, goalkeeper Mohamed Akram’s attempt to deprive any goals, Chryshantha Abeysekara gave Saunders the lead within the first 10 minutes of the play. High on morale, the hosts came close to scoring another which was well defended by Crystal Palace.

Midway through the first half, Palace strung together a few attacks as they went through near misses at the goal. The pressure paid off as Crystal Palace made it back into the game equalizing through Shamil Hilmy in the 22nd minute.

Poor security arrangements were once again on display as the match was halted for a few minutes as the referees went off due to a few fans invading the field.

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As the half went on, it was the visitors who grew in confidence, though Saunders had a couple of attacks go a-begging.

Half time – Saunders SC 1 – 1 Crystal Palace FC

The rain started to pour as the 2nd half began, with the pitch conditions getting damp causing the players few slips and falls. Continuing the momentum, the lads from Gampola took the lead minutes into the 2nd half when Chameera Krishantha snuck in a hopeful cross at the far post.

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Near the hour mark, Crystal Palace doubled their advantage when Jean Francois volleyed in the 3rd after the initial effort from Mohamed Rawzan rebounded off the goalkeeper.

Saunders failed to keep possession of the ball as Palace came strong in defence and had most of the possession. Saunders fought intensely to get goals as free kicks were equally earned by both teams.

 Photo Album: Saunders v CrystalPalace – Dialog Champions League 2017 

Despite their best efforts, the Price Park boys struggled to get a 2nd half goal as Crystal Palace displayed strong counter-attacks in the final minutes of the game.

Full time – Saunders SC 1 – 3 Crystal Palace FC Player of the Match – Chameera Krishantha

Goal Scorers

Saunders SC – Chryshantha Abeysekara 10’

Crystal Palace FC – Shamil Hilmy 22’, Chameera Krishantha 49’, Jean Francois 59’


Yellow cards

Saunders SC – Indreewa Udara 32’, Mohamed Fayasil 56’

Crystal Palace FC – Jean Francois 47’