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Thursday, 30 June 2011






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Pre World Cup 2014 qualifying first leg:

Sri Lanka hold Philippines to 1-1 draw

Sri Lankan soccerites played fine game of soccer to settle for a one all draw against Philippines in the first leg of the Pre World Cup qualifying round match at the Sugathadasa stadium yesterday.

The game kicked off at 4.0 pm with an appreciative crowd cheering both teams. Philippines looked favoured with their physic and the locals having to adjust themselves to face the challenges from the opponents. Philippines were in full control of the first fifteen minutes taking the advantage. But the Lankans managed to hold the opponents attack intelligently with defense line putting up a good performance.

The Philippines could not find the right target to gain the much needed goal to take the lead. The battle continued with both sides attacking each others territories on many occasions. The Lankan custodian had good day saving few good shots taken byn the strikers of the Philippine team.

The 43rd minute saw the Lankans gain a free kick 30 metres away from the goal due to foul committed by the opposition skipper Alexander Borromeo. Chathura Guneratne the man who was brought into the side for his experience made no mistake with the kick and saw the ball sail to right corner of the goal baffling the goal keeper which put the Lanka into the lead.

The first session also saw the Philippines use rough tactics in manner to demoralize the Lankans with physical advantage, it also resulted in three players getting the warning signal from the Bangladeshi referee.

The second session began with Sri Lanka in front and the visitors hoping to looking for the equalizer. With in a short period of five minutes Natahniel Burky who collected the ball off a melee close to the goal pushed the ball into the goal for the equalizer 1-1.

The game hotter and both teams fought a good battle for almost 20 minutes from this point. During the final minutes it was Sri Lankans who really made many inroads to opponents territory in a bid to find the winning goal. In fact a kick taken by Nimal Anthony Fernando 25 metres away from the goal was saved by the custodian of the Philippines which saved the game for the visitors. It was the visitors custodian who needs to be commended for his yeoman services during this game.

Visitorís coach Michael Hans Weis speaking after the match said that as predicted earlier it was a tough game.

Sri Lanka played well and the second leg too will be a real battle for us. He further said that his strikers failed to capitalize in from the chances they had during the first half. If they did the right thing at that moment the result could have changed and said that he hoped for a better performance from the team in the second leg next Sunday.

Sri Lankan coach Jang Jung at the post match conference said that the team played well as expected. The team is confident of playing the next game too in the same manner and will go flat out to record a win.

He also said that with more and more international exposure the team is sure to improve further in the coming years. When asked whether he could name the best player today he said that football is a team game and cannot name individuals as it is the team that performs on the field.

Sri Lanka will now fly to Philippines for the second leg to be staged on Sunday at the Philippines National stadium.



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