Saunders SC were made to work extremely hard by an adamant Prison SC and were lucky to come out 2-1 winners in the quarter-final of the Vantage FA Cup 2018 at the Sugathadasa Stadium.
Saunders SC were made to sweat Eveready SC but eased into a 6-2 win in the ….
Last year’s semi-finalists Saunders came into quarter finals following a 6-2 win against Eveready SC, while Prison SC defeated St. Nicholas’ SC 2-0 in the Round of 16.
Prison looked the more dangerous of the two in the early going as they mounted attack after attack. It was Saunders however who had the first major chance in the 7th minute when Chryshantha Abeysekara got on the end of a free-kick but goalkeeper and skipper R.P. Jayasiri got down well to make the save.
Prison responded immediately with a chance of their own after their forward showed some good skill before passing it off to M.K.G.S. Prabod who struck it on the volley, but goalkeeper Asanka Viraj produced a brilliant save to deny a certain goal.
Kasun Jayasuriya for Saunders and T. Kajakopan for Prison created chances only to be thwarted by Asanka Viraj and Jayasiri.
However, Kajakopan finally capitalized when in the 23rd minute, he took a powerful strike from the edge of the box that took a slight deflection, leaving Asanka Viraj rooted to his spot as the ball sailed into the top corner.
Minutes later Suntharaj Niresh took a strike from the edge of the box, but Jayasiri pulled off a stunning save to deny the equalizer. Saunders found their equalizer when in the 29th minute, Jayasuriya got on the end of a Chamod Dilshan cut-back to score from close range much to the jubilation of the Saunders faithful.
Niresh found the back of the net in the closing stages of the half but his celebrations were cut-short as the flag was raised for offside.
Half Time – Prison SC 1 – 1 Saunders SC
Soon after the break Jayasuriya yet again stepped up for his side heading in the 2nd past a diving Jayasiri off a Tharusha Rangana cross.
Saunders got two more opportunities as the half wore on through Suntharaj Niresh and Isuru Perera, but both went just wide of the post. It was all Prison from that point on, dominating possession as Saunders desperately clung onto their one goal lead.
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Prabod struck a free-kick well, but it was straight into the hands of Asanka Viraj as the chances kept coming for Prison. Prabod, yet again from a free-kick, this time struck brilliantly towards the top corner saw Asanka Viraj pull off a brilliant save.
Kajakopan produced a volleyed attempt from a corner kick, but his effort flew just wide of the upright. Majority of the play in the closing moments took place in and around the Saunders box, but their defense held on to see them through to the final 4.
Full Time – Prison SC 1 – 2 Saunders SC
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Kasun Jayasuriya (Saunders SC)
Prison SC – T. Kajakopan 23’
Saunders SC – Kasun Jayasuriya 29’ & 50’
Prison SC – B.G.B. Chathuranga 7’
Saunders SC – Isuru Perera 78’