The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Navy ground Air Force

Holcim FA Cup quarter final

Air Force’s Sampath Perera and Navy’s Chameera Krishantha battle for possession. Pic by Amila Gamage

Prasad Lakshitha headed in a spectacular late goal to snap a near game-long goalless deadlock, between two evenly matched teams, and secure Navy a 1-0 victory over Air Force, in their Holcim FA Cup quarter final match, played at the City Football League complex yesterday.

No one side ever had a significant edge in this game, with the battle for possession finishing in an even contest. However, during the first half both sides had their early chances. For Air Force, the bulk of these came through expertly flighted corner kicks that were met with execution which was far from perfect.

Air Force’s Rangana Silva had the best of these chances when he magnificently forced his way into the penalty area to thump a goal-ward shot that lacked in accuracy what it possessed in power. This was to be one among many first half frustrations that the airmen were to experience during the game.

The chief instigator of this irritation was Navy goalie H. Kumar, who played like a giant in front of the goal. His Air Force counterpart, Pradeep Paranavithana, however was no slouch either, as he frequently threw himself with reckless abandon at the feet of the marauding Navy strikers.

Coming out into the second half with the score still reading nil all, Navy injected a renewed sense of urgency into their play. The altered approach reaped immediate dividends as H. Charles thundered deep into Air Force territory, beating Paranavithana, before failing to prevent the ball from running out of play. In the 44th minute though, Navy finally made the crucial breakthrough as Lakshitha rose to guide the ball into the bottom corner of the goal. In the other quarterfinal match of the game Don Bosco beat Ratnam 3-1 at the Kelaniya Football Complex. The score at halftime was 2-0.

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