Zahira in a one-sided win against Wesley

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In what proved to be a very one sided game, Zahira College eased past Wesley College winning 4-0 to secure 3 points in the Kotmale Chox U19 Schools Football Championship group stage game held at Kelaniya Football Complex today (02).

The match scheduled to start at 8.30 am was put behind by 45 minutes due to the Wesley College team failing to report to the ground on time.

Photos: Zahira College v Wesley College – Schools Football 2016

The match began under slightly cloudy conditions and the Zahirians kicked off with early attacks on the Weslyites even without one of their key players, Farood Faiz, who was suspended due to two successive yellow cards.

The Zahirian attack proved to be too much for Wesley as they assumed a defensive formation leaving only one man for the attack. The ineffective Wesley midfield paved the way for the many Zahira attacks but sloppy finishing and a strong defense by the Wesley back four prevented Zahira from scoring.

One of the most impressive opportunities came when a cross by Zahirian Shafran Sathar rebounded off the top post but Mohamed Murshid’s header was too wide off the goal.

The countless attacks by the Zahirians finally paid off when a long pass by the right back Mohamed Rakeeb was perfectly controlled and volleyed into the back of the net by Murshid giving them their first goal in the 20th minute.

Wesley tried to find an equalizer in the form Nafeel Cassim who made a couple of desperate lone runs down the left flank only to be thwarted by the Zahirian defense.

A slight defensive error by Ahamed Shaheel saw Nafeel chipping the ball over the Zahirian goalkeeper but it went over the goal.

The rest of the 1st half continued with Zahira continuously attacking but was held back by the Wesley defense.

Wesley’s Safraz Nazar was exceptional in defense with a few brilliant slips and clearances to stop the Zahirian attacks.

Nevertheless Wesley was poor at dead ball situations, especially through Joel Raj who made low out kicks which increased the pressure on the already suffocating defense.

The Zahirians got their 2nd goal through Mohamed Aakib in the dying minutes of the 1st half, who made a low driven shot along the ground which should have been an easy collection for the keeper, but Mohamed Nazar misjudged the kick and the ball slipped into the right corner of the net.

Half time – Zahira College 2 – 0 Wesley College

The 2nd half began with Zahira resuming their attack and Wesley keeping up their defensive formation rather than trying to attack and level the score.

Brilliant play was seen along the Zahirian right flank where the right back Rakeeb and winger T.Azhan combined together perfectly to wreak havoc in the Wesley defense.

Another perfect opportunity for a goal for Zahira was wasted when a cross by Zulfikar Ahamed was headed out by Murshid.

The Wesley defence kept on holding back the Zahirian attack with more brilliant clearances and flying saves by Nazar, but it was not enough as a brilliant shot by Tuan Atheek found the back of the net in the 83rd minute to give Zahira the third goal.

Zahira was awarded a penalty in the 89th minute when Mohamed Shaheel who was dancing through the defence was tackled in the penalty box. Shaheel calmly slotted the penalty into the goal to give Zahira a well-deserved 4-0 win.

Full time – Zahira College 4 – 0 Wesley College

ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Tuan Atheek

Goal Scorers

Zahira – Mohamed Murshid 20′, Mohamed Aakib 45+2′, Tuan Atheek 83′, Mohamed Shaheel 89′ (pen)