A scintillating hat trick by Afis Olayemi helped Solid FC outclass Kirulapone United 5-0, in the FA Cup Round of Last 32 match which was worked off at the Kelaniya Football Complex.
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Even though Kirulapone United had defeated the likes of Moragasmulla SC and Ratnam SC on their way to the 7th round, this was their toughest test yet, against the 2014 Dialog Champions League winners.
The game started off with a controversial incident as the home side, Kirulapone United were left to field their side with the visiting team’s away kit with the referee deciding that the home side had a clash of colors with the visiting Solid FC’s strip.
With that psychological set back to the home side the visiting Champions League giants stamped their authority from the word go as they pinned the Kirulapone lads to their own half during the first 10 minutes.
They were duly rewarded at the stroke of the 11th minute when Olayemi weaved passed two defenders and squared the ball to his compatriot M.Rajakaruna who steered the ball home past a helpless keeper.
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With that early set back Kirulapone United woke up to the game after the first 12 minutes.
After stringing a few passes together the home team had their first site at goal when Isuru Prarthana was one on one against the Solid FC goalkeeper only to chip the ball on to his palm which resulted in the ball crawling past the sticks for a corner.
With the momentum shifting towards to Kirulapone lads, panic started to set into the Solid FC ranks.
Photo Album – Solid SC v Kirulapone United
As the half drew to a close Kirulapone had another clear chance to draw level with T.Meeraj capitalizing on a defensive blunder but failed to make a telling pass as his attempted cross flared over the cross bar for a goal kick.
The last few seconds were again marred by controversy as clear penalty shout for a hand ball by Haleem Samath inside the Kirulapone FC box was waved off by the referee.
The second half saw Solid FC playing a high press game which caused alot of panic in the Kirulapone midfield which didn’t allow them settle through out the game.
With only a timid free kick, which was easily gathered by the keeper, to show for their efforts Kirulapone were content with defending their lines against a flamboyant Solid forward line.
Their resilience was finally breached when a cross from the left flank was intercepted by T.Meeraj’s intentional trailing arm. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Olayemi gracefully accepted the chance to swot home Solid FC’s second goal.
Depleted after the second goal the Kirulapone lads left their heads hanging which the away side pounced onto, that started a barrage of attacks in which Olayemi scored his hat trick with goals in the 62nd and 77th minutes respectively.
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This spell of dominance saw another goal by D.Pradeepan in the 73rd minute sandwiched in between Olayemi’s hat trick.
The game came to a rather nasty end when a foul on the Kirulapone United substitute Pravin Anthony by Olayemi brought about a heated tussle among the players during the last few minutes of the game.
This conflict resulted in Olayemi and Shalik Khan both being taken down into the book by the referee just before the final whistle. A good game of football came to a rather atrocious end with the last few exchanges.
Olayemi was a class apart from the rest, throughout the 90 minutes with his soaring runs in behind the defense being a complete menace to the Kirulapone lads. He proved to be the difference between sides at the end of the day as he was in the heart of all five goals making things happen for his side to take them the through to the pre-quarter finals.
ThePapare.com Man of the Match: Afis Olayemi