FA Cup in Army custody | Sunday Observer

FA Cup in Army custody

The champion Army team celebrates with the trophy Pic: Thilak Perera
The champion Army team celebrates with the trophy Pic: Thilak Perera

Army Sports Club once again produced a fine performance and retained the FA Cup Championship when they defeated Saunders in the final worked off at the Sugathathasa Stadium yesterday winning 4-2 after leading 2-1 at half time.

Veteran player Mohamed Issadeen opened the scoring when he netted a goal in the 17th minute of the game for Army followed by striker Niroshan Pathirana hitting the second goal in the 27th minute. Saunders kicked off the game positively but due to some passing errors in the first 20 minutes of the game lost their opportunities at scoring.

In the 33rd of the game Saunders received a penalty and young Sundaraj Niresh scored the first goal for Saunders who supporters thronged the venue to coincide with the club’s centenary celebrations.

In the second half Army used their defences well to stop the goal opportunities of Saunders and both teams played a very slow game.

Niresh and Nipuna created plenty of goal-scoring opportunities for Saunders but unfortunately all the chances were successfully stopped by Army defenders and their goalkeeper Mohamed Luthfi

The final goal for Army was scored in the 83 minute of the game by SP Wijeyasuriya through a penalty when a Saunders player was red carded. Saunders then scored their second goal through Chamod Dilshan.

In the 90th minute of the game Kasun Pradeep scored the final goal for Army.

Army’s strikers and midfielders played a major role in the match as did Madhusan, Issadeen, Asikur Rahman and Warakagoda who used their experience to win the game.

The best goalkeeper of the tournament was Mohamed Luthfi from the Army while Issadeen won the Golden Boot.

D Warakagoda was the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.

Army Commander Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake graced the occasion as chief guest and presented the trophies to the winners.

Raw deal for Media

Reporters covering yesterday’s FA Cup final at the Sugathadasa stadium in Colombo were in for a rude shock when the space allocated for them to carry out their duties was invaded by officials of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka.

The media were forced to report the proceedings amid the noise much to the annoyance of reporters.