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