Lanka clash with Qatar
World Cup qualifying round I:
Sri Lankan soccerites led by newly appointed Chatura Maduranga
Weerasinghe will confront Qataris tomorrow in their Olympic qualifying
round game at Sugathadasa stadium. The kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Sri Lankans will leave for Qatar for the second leg of this game which
is to be played in Doha on October 28.
Sri Lankan selectors have kept faith on the most senior player in the
squad Chathura to be the leader of the Lankan contingent. He replaces
Dudley Steinwall who led the team for almost five years. At present he
is left out of the squad.
The new look Lankan outfit is confident of meeting the Qatar and
posing a big threat to this strong outfit from the Middle-East.
During the recent past Sri Lankan soccerites showed a little bit of
They defeated Malaysia 2-1 and later in the second-leg lost 1-4. Beat
Brunei 1-0. Last year Lankans have played five internationals against
Bhutan, Nepal (twice), Chinese Taipei and Tajikstan. Out of five games
Lankans have won three, lost one and drew with Nepal in one game.
The second game against Nepal ended in a one-all, but on penalty
shoot-out Lankans won it 5-3. The worst defeat for Lankans was when
playing against Tajikstan in Dhaka where they went down 4-0.
The game tomorrow will be of vital importance for the team as they
come out with many new faces. The four seniors in the side who are
capable of producing a good game of soccer along with Chathura the new
skipper will be Kasun Jayasuriya, E. B. Channa, G. P. C. Karunaratne and
S. D. Tillekeratne the custodian of the side.
A classy performance is expected from these frontline players while
defenders have a tough job in halting the speed strikers from the Middle
Qatar who are the Asian Games champions come out here with the
intention of winning comfortably. Their record during the recent past
have been very successful.
They hope to maintain this further by winning the first led before
taking on the Lankans on their home soil next Sunday in front of their
Qataris have not played a single match recently and hold a fine
record. They are sure to go flat out to keep their unbeaten tag intact
for a further period.
Though Qatar goes as favourites here the Lankans with super
performance in capable of turning the game in their favour if they too
make an effort to face the challenge playing according to the situation
that comes their way.
The soccer fans here should come in large numbers to cheer the new
look Lankan team which too could be a morale booster for them.