Police SC left it late but came out on top in a 3-1 victory against Negombo Youth FC in the Vantage FA Cup 2018 Round of 16 clash to progress to the quarter-finals at the Sugathadasa Stadium.
The Vantage FA Cup 2018 Round of 16 is set to kick off on the 24th of October …
Police kicked off to a shaky few minutes which Negombo Youth dominated. Police however grew in confidence as the minutes progressed. It was them who got the first major chance of the game, but Mohamed Sufaik could only strike a week shot at Ranga Nawarathne after controlling an over the top ball.
It was Negombo Youth who came close next when Charuka Fernando shot at goal but the defense was able to rush back and block the shot off the line into the grateful hands of goalkeeper Mahendran Dinesh.
Police struck first blood when Rifdhan Mohamed got a great through ball into the box before coolly dribbling around Nawarathne to calmly slot it into the open goal from a tight angle.
Negombo Youth were gifted a penalty out of nowhere when referee Lakmal Weerakkody deemed Kamal Silva was pulled from behind just inside the box and pointed straight to the spot despite protest from the Police players.
Former Navy skipper who moved to Negombo Youth, Christeen Fernando stepped up and took responsibility, and was lucky to get the ball in despite Dinesh getting a hand to it, equaling the game.
Half Time – Police SC 1 – 1 Negombo Youth FC
Heavy rain, which started towards the end of the first half, continued that saw the ground conditions wet and slippery. Rifdhan dribbled well into the Negombo box and got a shot off, unfortunately for Police, it went just wide of the target.
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Kamal Silva almost gave Negombo Youth the lead when he took a powerful shot from 30 yards out which caught Dinesh off guard, but luckily for Police, the shot skimmed off the crossbar and went out for a goal-kick.
Priyankara Silva added to his missed opportunities for the lads from Negombo as both sides lacked the desire and creativity in midfield. There was yet another effort which rattled the crossbar, this time when Chathura Gunarathna shot from range for Police, which had a diving Nawarathne well beaten.
Police struck a decisive blow with 7-minutes remaining when Gunarathna struck a clinical free-kick, from a few meters out-side the box, past a diving Nawarathne into the top corner to give Police the lead.
Negombo Youth pushed all their players forward as they chased the much-needed equalizer. This left Rifdhan and Riyaz Ahamed to break through the Negombo defense and Rifdhan laid it off to Ahamed, past the onrushing Nawarathne, to slot it into an open goal.
Full Time – Police SC 3 – 1 Negombo Youth FC
- ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Chathura Gunarathna (Police SC)
Police SC – Rifdhan Mohamed 22’, Chathura Gunaratna 83’, Riyaz Ahamed 89’
Negombo Youth FC – Christeen Fernando 35’
Negombo Youth FC – Thuwan Rumlan 18’, Mohamed Rameez 89’, Kamal Silva 90’, Rajarathnam Menon 90+2’