Youth footballers turn on the heat in rush to qualify | Sunday Observer

Youth footballers turn on the heat in rush to qualify

13 February, 2022
Aiden Christopher (right) the tournament’s leading goal scorer
Aiden Christopher (right) the tournament’s leading goal scorer

Six clubs have secured a berth in the quarter-finals of the inter-club under-19 football tournament played for the “Expolanka Youth Cup” conducted by City Football League.

The quarter finals will commence on February 19 at the City Football League ground.

Colombo Veterans, Baddowita United, Moragasmulla SC, Renown, Maligawatta Youth, and Colombo FC are the teams that have qualified for this stage of the tournament after heading their respective groups winning their group stage matches successfully.

Colombo Veterans slated in Group ‘C’ produced a scintillating performance to enter the quarters by defeating some tough opponents. They beat Renown 3-1 in their curtain-raiser and went on to crush Rudra 3-1 and United 4-0. Renown which retained the second slot in the same group to qualify for the quarters managed to score two wins over United 2-0 and Rudra by a 5-0 margin.

In Group ‘D’, Moragasmulla overcame some of the big names in the competitions as they started their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Black Square. They then surged ahead to edge out Baddowita United 3-2 and Colpety United 1-0 after a close tussle. Baddowita United the other team to qualify from this group beat Colpety United 2-1 and drew 0-0 against Black Square.

Meanwhile, Colombo FC moved into the quarter final stage winning all three matches played so far. They defeated Java Lane 2-0 and Ferguson Youth SC 4-0 and Vikings SC 7-0 with their final match to be played against Slave Island XI, which will have no bearing on their quarter-final stage matches.

Java Lane is the other team that is knocking on the doors to become the second team from this group to qualify for the next stage of the competition. Their status will be decided on the outcome of their match against Ferguson Youth SC. If they lose to Ferguson, the group runner-up will be decided on goal average.

They have already notched up two wins over Slave Island XI (3-0) and Viking (2-0) respectively. Maligawatta Youth has confirmed their place in the quarters with two wins over Saunders (2-0) and victory (2-1) while the games against Cooray and Young Silver ended in a draw. The second team to qualify from the group will be on a game between Saunders and Cooray as Saunders is yet to play their final game against Victory. If they defeat them then Saunders will be eligible to play in the quarter-finals. Aidan Christopher who scored a hat-trick of goals against Viking is the highest goal scorer of the tournament.

The City Football League has put in an indefatigable effort to host this tournament for the second consecutive year with the participation of 18 teams. The cream of the youth players from the Western Province are competing in this tourney which will be an eye-opener for football’s governing body to unearth the hidden talent and groom them to represent the national team.