Puttalam Zahirians had a successful evening evening on Qatar national day (18th December) making history by clinching the OZEE 7’s Inter School soccer tournament played amongst Sri Lankan schools and conducted by the Colombo Zahira OBA.
In their group round matches the Puttalam Zahirians topped group B by remaining unbeaten, defeating Mawanella Zahira, Badurians FC Mawanella and De Mazenod College.
It all winded up beautifully on the eve of the semifinals and finals on 18th Dec as the Puttalam Zahirians brought out their best to thrash Gampola Zahira by 9 goals to 4 in the semis and advanced to the finals.
They were set to meet Mawanella Zahira who advanced to the finals by beating Jeelan Central College Panadura after a wonderful display by their Goalkeeper, Mohideen Muhazzam, in the penalty shootout.
Puttalam Zahira started the final with confidence and scored 2 back to back goals to bring the game under control. Mawanella Zahira bounced back by scoring a goal but Puttalam Zahira roared again by scoring their 3rd goal in no time. In the 2nd half, Puttalam Zahira scored their 4th goal through a thundering shot by Mohamed Musthakeem, their captain. Mawanella gave them a scare later in the game by scoring 2 goals to bring the deficit down to 4-3 but that was as close as they got.
- Shakeel Ahamed – The Head Coach and a past student of Colombo Zahira who was the mastermind behind the success.
- Mohideen Muhazzam – The assistant Coach, who trained the Puttalam Zahira goalkeeper, Mushtak Ahamed in the best possible way for the tournament.
- Mohamed Musthakeem – The experienced captain of Puttalam Zahirians who was dedicated to the game from the beginning.
- Mohamed Rishad – Who was judged as the most valuable player of the tournament with his fine consistent display throughout the tournament.
- Mohamed Hamthiyas – Who was judged as the man of the match for turning up the heat with a clinical performance in the finals.
- Isham Marikar – The passionate president of Puttalam Zahirians, who is the strategist behind all the moves of the club.
- ExCom Members including Mr. Anshad, Mr. Aslee and Mr. Niflar who were pulling out all the stops for the smooth passage of the club.
They failed in 2014 by being eliminated in the quarterfinals, failed again in 2016 by ending up in 3rd place, failed again too in the semis in 2018, but the Puttalam Zahirians had that never give up mentality in their DNA and proved that they are still a force to reckon with when it comes to Football.
Puttalam Zahirians Squad – Musthakeem, Hamthiyas, Mushtak, Rishad, Arshad, Azam, Hakam, Minhaj, Nibras and Jesar.
Puttalam Zahirians would like to first of all thank the tournament organizers and sponsors for giving all the football clubs a platform amid Covid 19 situation by conducting the tournament in the best way possible; its past students, supporters and all its well-wishers in Qatar, back in Puttalam and all across the world who were cheering for the team and biting their nails till the last moment. This is a moment to celebrate without doubt.
News Courtesy of SM Isham Marikar, President of Puttalam Zahira FC, Qatar