Colombo FC out to bring Blue Eagles down to earth | Daily News


Vantage FFSL President’s Cup final :

Colombo FC out to bring Blue Eagles down to earth

Blue Eagle SC team
Blue Eagle SC team

Football's greatest finale between Colombo Football Club and Blue Eagles Sports Club for the inaugural ‘Vantage FFSL President’s Cup’ will turn out to be a cliffhanger when they clash at Sugathadasa Stadium today, with kick-off scheduled at 6.30 p.m.

After over three weeks of intensely competitive football, the final hurdle has been reached, with two prominent teams in the soccer arena confronting each other for supremacy. This is the first tournament to kick off after the outbreak of the Covid-19 since March this year.

Blue Eagles SC have a superior record over their rivals, by being the only team in the competition to remain undefeated. They launched their campaign with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace Football Club in the opener. They went on to down SLTB and their current rival Colombo FC 3-1 and 2-0 respectively. After being knocked out 0-3 in the quarter finals, the game was awarded to them when they lodged a protest against New Star SC for fielding an overage player. They were given a torrid time by Java Lane SC before edging through 4-3 in the penalty shootout, after a 2-all draw at the full-time whistle, to enter the final.

Blue Eagle SC had few injury concerns soon after their semi-final match, but some extraordinary care in the last few days by their doctors made them recover and fit to play. They are to field the same combination that started the game last Thursday. Three national poolist Ishan Kavindu, Subash Fernando and Ruwan Arunasiri will strengthen their side, which has turned out to be an unpredictable team. These three have turned out to be match winners for them. According to their General Secretary, Cheshan Rajapaksa they have had continuous practice sessions, including some video visuals of past matches of their opponents, and had a brain storming session to motivate the boys mentally for the big occasion.

“We are fully geared up for this match. The boys are fit after a few injury issues. The morale of the team is very high and I look forward to scoring a convincing win,” said Cheshan Rajapaksa

Blue Eagles last major achievement was way back in 2013 when they won the Super League, and they were the Defense Services Champions in 2017.

Meanwhile, Colombo FC is a side which cannot be underrated in any tournament. Even though they lost to their rivals in the league stage, they bounced back gallantly to win the quarter and the semi-final stage matches after some nerve tingling moments.

They crushed SLTB in the curtain raiser 3-0 and went on to trounce Crystal Palace 4-1, while going down 0-2 to Blue Eagles in the first-round matches. However, they ousted reigning FA Cup Champions Police SC 3-0, while notching up a close 5-4 win over Red Star SC after a 2-all draw at full time.

Colombo FC have an added advantage. They have a mix of eight national and former national players in their ranks like Charitha Rathnayake, Mohamed Fazal, Mohamed Aakib, Afeel Mohamed, Niran Kanishka, Shabeer Razooniya (all of whom are in the present national side), and Zarwan Johar and Mohamed Imran who donned the national jersey previously.

Skipper Charith Ratnayake, a cool-headed player, has led them from the front to overcome stiff challenges. The rest of the players have contributed immensely by playing a pivotal role and winning matches for them.

They will retain the same eleven at the start-up line that played in the semi-finals. Speaking to Daily News their head coach Hassan Roomy said: “Even though we lost to them in the first round, we are a much better team. We have rectified our mistakes and will execute a better plan for today’s match to win the game.”

The Champions will receive Rs. 1.8 million with the Vantage FFSL President's Cup while the runner up will carry away Rs. 1.5 million. The most disciplined team of the tournament will receive Rs. 100,000 plus the Dinemore fair play trophy.

Sports Minister, Namal Rajapaksa will grace the occasion as the chief guest. Commander of Air force, D.L.S.Dias and Chief of Staff, Vice Air Marshal, S.K.Pathirana will also grace the occasion.

Blue Eagles SC: DMDL Gunasingha (Capt.), DK Duminda, LHK Ishan, BSC Fernando, PAER Fernando, HMPR Arunasiri, KNH Fernando, PADUS Wijesena, PAJ Fernando, MMPCM Fernando, WN Malshan, DDMM Premachandra, WMA Fernando, UGRG Aththanayake, CK Danushka,, HGC Pramantha, MSM Zimal, TD Dissanayake, DMAH Dissanayake, APC Mendis, DN Welagamage, LSVJ Zoysa, DMSC Dassanayake.

Colombo FC: B.M.C.B. Rathnayake (Capt.), M. Rawme Mohideen, H. Niran Kanishka, M. Zarwan Johar, M.N.M. Rilwan, M. Nazeer Imran, M.N. Mohamed Fazal, M.N. Afeel Mohamed, N.A.M. Adhil, K.A. Buddhika Perera, A.R. Ahamed Shazny, M. Siraj Jain, M. Safran Sattar, M.F. Mohamed Aakib, M.S.M. Shakeer, Shabeer Razooniya, M. Haleem Rumblan, M.I.M. Musharaf, S.N.M. Abdul Basith, K. Dinesh Suren, T.F. Bodric Dimitri, Y.S.J. Furic Momas, M. F. Ashim.

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