Zahira College Maradana got the better of the defending champions Hameed Al Hussainie College in the all-important finals to win this year’s President’s Trophy at the Race Course Grounds premises.
The two teams battled it out until the very end and only penalties forced a result.
The all-island invitational football tournament, organized by the Group of 80s – Old Boys Association of Hameed Al Hussainie College was held for over a month at City League Grounds Colombo 2 and Race Course Grounds.
Defending champions Hameed Al Hussainie played St.Bendadict’s College and Zahira played Maris Stella Negombo in the semifinals at the Race Course. Zahira and Hameed Al Hussainie recorded comfortable 4-0 wins over their rivals to cruise to the finals.
The much-anticipated final attracted a massive crowd and the atmosphere was absolutely electric even before the game. The race course drew a record crowd and it was rumored as the highest ever for a school football match on the island.
The two teams showcased exceptional skill right from the word go and it was a treat to watch them play a fast-paced game. A couple of outstanding saves from both goal-keepers stopped neither of the sides from getting off the mark.
However, a stunning header gave Zahira College the lead and the crowd erupted all of a sudden. Twenty minutes later, Zahira conceded an own goal and they were back where they started. The full-time score was 1-1.
Two outstanding penalty saves from goalkeeper Mohamed Shakir resulted in Zahira winning the all-important title. The Maradana boys were full of emotion as this achievement was after losing head coach M Roomy to Royal College Colombo.
The win didn’t just bring confidence but helped the side reclaim dominance in local school football.
Zahira College Team – Shakeer, Akthar, Rasheed, Mufsir, Shaeen, Raza, Aakib, Rimaz, Saajid, Murshid, and Hammad.
Coach: Mr Imran
Goal Keepr Coach: Mr Ilyas
Physio: Mr Imtiaz
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