The Sunday Leader

Maris Stella clinch Championship after Thrilling Shoot-out

  • 11th Zahira Super 16 Soccer 7’s

Player-of-the-Final Dilip Pieris of Maris Stella receives his award from Farizan Marso – Editor of PPAof Zahira College

Maris Stella College, Negombo edged Royal College, Colombo 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out after their final clash ended goalless to clinch the Cup Championship at the 11th Zahira Super 16 Soccer 7’s which concluded last Saturday at the Zahira College grounds.

In the penalty shootout Maris Stella’s two Sri Lanka U19 players, Dilip Peiris and Kasun Sandeepa scored and the third was secured by Captain Supun Lahiru. The Royal skipper Tahiru Gunasekara and Chathura Avishka duly scored for the Reid Avenue boys. With the pressure mounting another Sri Lanka U19 player Royalist Naveen Jude stepped forward to take the crucial kick and unfortunately for the Royal supporters his attempt was astray sparking jubilant celebrations in the Maris Stella camp.

The weather had caused much disruption to the tournament and seemed set to ruin the final too with some treacherous conditions underfoot. However both Royal and Maris Stella deserve much credit for the quality of football they displayed despite the difficult circumstances.

The Royalists dominated the early quarter of the game with much possession but clearly luck was not with them as they saw two possible goals bouncing back off the goal posts. They also missed a golden opportunity when Sakun Divyanga going solo and being thwarted by the defence when a simple pass to the unmarked Sajid would have given them an easy goal.

Royal’s goalkeeper Mushtaq Ramzi was rarely tested in the first half but when Maris Stella suddenly found their feet and mounted several attacks on the Royal goal, Ramzi pulled off a couple of tremendous saves to deny Maris Stella.

Most Valuable PlayerM Naveen of Royal College receives his award from Fouzul Hameed Chairman Board of Governors of Zahira College

Despite the inclement weather, the championship was conducted smoothly and the organisers – the Past Prefects of Zahira College deserve a big bouquet for the magnificent efforts they put in to ensure the success of the tournament which has now become a popular event in the Scholls football calendar.

The President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka, Anura de Silva, graced the opening ceremony as the Chief Guest and Hashim Omar, the Director of the Main Sponsor Pyramid Wilmar  was the Chief Guest at the finals. Zahira College Principal Trizviiy Marikar, Board of Governors Chairman Fouzul Hameed and many distinguished invitees also attended the evening events which included the finals and the awards ceremony.

Maris Stella’s Dilip Pieris was adjudged the player of the final. Royal’s M Naveen was selected as the Most valuable Player of the championship and the Royal team did themselves proud by being adjudged the ‘Fair Play team’ of the championship.



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