Red Stars FC finished the Super 6 stage of the 2017 Premier League Division I unbeaten with a 5-2 win against Thihariya Youth in week 5 at the CR&FC Grounds.
Red Stars were crowned champions after thumping Ratnam 6-0 in week 4 but Ratnam, Thihariya Youth and Serendib FC were still in contention for promotion heading into the 5th and final match week.
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Thihariya Youth had to win to gain promotion but Asante Evans squandered a great opportunity to send his side ahead, when he chested down a cross into space but a slight hesitation saw the goalkeeper rushing onto block the effort.
There after it was all Red Stars as Peter Sylvanus twice came close to giving them the lead. In one instance Sylvanus was denied by the diving goalkeeper and on the other his free header from a Mohamed Rahuman free-kick went just over.
The champions got their lead minutes later when a defensive error allowed Rahuman the space to score with his left-foot towards the far post.
Red Stars skipper Idowu Hameed’s dribble to the edge of the box resulted in him unleashing a powerful effort just over the crossbar while a Sylvanus header across the goal, at the far post, bounced off the near up-right and out of danger much to the agony of their fans.
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Towards the latter part of the first half Thihariya Youth skipper Mohamed Isham fired wide from close range while a free-kick in good position only managed to graze the crossbar.
Minutes before half time both teams came inches close to scoring. A lung-bursting run, on the right, from Red Stars Mohamed Faisal saw him finding Sylvanus inside the box but he skied the ball over with no defender insight and Evans shot straight at the goalkeeper from point blank range to end the first half.
Half time – Red Stars FC 1 – 0 Thihariya Youth
Sylvanus after missing the target from a cheeky finish finally got on the scoreboard in the 62nd minute and almost added another after twisting his way into space inside the box.
Rahuman was fouled inside the penalty box and Sylvanus stepped up to slot home the resulting penalty and made it 3-0. Minutes later Evans scored from a distance giving some life to the already depleted Thihariya Youth side.
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There was no comeback for the men in purple as Rahuman scored from a brilliant first-time effort off a rebound shot from Sylvanus. Sylvanus completed his hat-trick in injury time and Oduro Charles scored for Thihariya with the final kick of the game.
Full time – Red Stars FC 5 – 2 Thihariya Youth
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Mohamed Rahuman
Red Stars FC – Peter Sylvanus 62’, 75’ & 90+1’, Mohamed Rahuman 23’ & 90’
Thihariya Youth – Asante Evans 77’, Oduro Charles 90+4’
Red Star FC – Mohamed Rahuman