Joes outbattle Royal in a goalfest

U18 Division I Schools’ Football Championship

Joes out battle Royal

St. Joseph’s College came out on top against Royal College with the match ending 6-3 in the U18 Division I Schools’ Football Championship 2018 at the Janaka Ranawaka Grounds.

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Both teams came into this game after playing Kingswood College, with Joes getting a massive 8-1 victory while Royal came out with a narrow 1-0 victory.

It was Royal however who took the early lead, when in the 2nd minute a long shot into the box took a deflection off a defender before being headed into the back of the net by skipper Shishan Prabudda.

Both teams were on the attack from that point onward. It was St. Joseph’s who responded strongly in the 19th minute when they broke into the box after build-up play and Sasun Rasminda took a beautiful curling shot to give the Royal goalkeeper no chance, equalizing the game.

Coaches Mohamed Roomy and Aruna Sampath were both yelling passionately at their respective players trying to get their tactics spot on.

Prabudda, in the 34th minute took a free-kick just outside the Joes box following a handball foul and curled the kick well, but Joes keeper Jaysinghe pushed it out for a corner.

Majority of the possession towards the end of the first half took place around the Joes box as Royal dominated. It showed when in the 36th minute a corner kick was struck into the box and following a goal mouth scramble, Mohamed Ammar added the 2nd for Royal.

Josephians almost struck another equalizer at the death of the half, but the ball went inches wide of the upright.

Half Time – St. Joseph’s College 1 – 2 Royal College

The first real chance of the second half came in the form of a free-kick to the Maradana lads. Jonathan Thomas stood over it with a Ronaldo-esque stance, and he indeed struck it like Ronaldo too as the shot curled beautifully beating the keeper to the top corner of the goal.

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Joes almost immediately took the lead as they broke into the Royal box, but a double save from Balakrishnan denied them. However, not soon after a penalty was awarded to Joes following a handball and Senal Sandesh scored despite Balakrishnan diving the right way.

A good through-ball in the 58th minute then saw Sandesh break through the Royal defense with just the keeper to beat, but Balakrishnan pulled off another brilliant save to deny Sandesh. Balakrishnan was again at hand to pull off a great save from a powerful long-range effort.

Joes settled into a dominant role and broke on the counter-attack in the 72nd minute and the shot by Rasminda could not be saved this time as they increased their lead.

A minute later, Royal were awarded a penalty, this time for a handball by a Joes defender. Prabudda stepped up to take the kick and beautifully struck it to cut down the deficit back to one goal at 4-3.

St. Joseph’s responded strong as they broke on the counter once again in the 78th minute and scored another goal to make it 5-3 with Kaviendya Rupasingha getting on the score sheet.

The hosts made it 6-3 with the last action of the game following a failed set piece by Royal. Royal defense failed to get back in time and Joes on the counter punished them yet again with Rupasingha scoring his second goal.

Full Time – St. Joseph’s College 6 – 3 Royal College Player of the Match – Kaviendya Rupasingha (St. Joseph’s College)

Goal Scorers
St. Joseph’s College – Sasun Rasminda 19’ & 72’, Jonathan Thomas 52’, Senal Sandesh 54’, Kaviendya Rupasingha 78’ & 90+4’
Royal College – Shishan Prabudda 2’ & 73’, Mohamed Ammar 36’

Yellow Cards
Royal College – Mohamed Hamdhi 31’

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