Jet Liners FC progressed to the pre-quarter final round beating New Star SC 5-4 on penalties after the game ended 1-1 in a 7th round FA Cup tie which was worked off at the Kelaniya Football Complex.
Jet Liners, in their green and yellow strip, kicked things off at Kelaniya, as they pressed forward from the word go. New Star SC, who were thumped 4-0 in the Gold Cup final by Ratnam SC a few days prior, were limited to last ditch and scrappy defending as they were pinned in their own half during the early exchanges. Jet Liners were unable to convert the early pressure into goals as Mohamed Rawshan held fort for New Star along with his defensive comrades.
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The few sparks for the lads in green were provided by their charismatic striker Ismalia Abumere who dribbled past defenders with ease and took on a few long range efforts which lacked direction.
A few cautions were dished out by the referee during the half as frustration crept into the Jet Liners’ play, when they couldn’t cap their dominance with a goal.
The second half kicked off as things stood at the beginning of the first half on level pegging, as New Star seized the initiative after a poor first half display. They made their intentions clear with a shot slightly off target within a minute of the restart.
New Star SC too, like Jet Liners, were unable to convert their pressure into a goal, as that proved costly when a defensive howler by Rawshan sent through Ismail Abumere as he thumped the ball home past the advancing keeper to give his side the lead, in the 60th minute.
Photo Album – Jet Liners SC vs New Star SC – FA Cup 2016
Unfazed by the set back the New Star lads stepped on the gas in search of an equalizer.
Their persistent pressure paid off as it only took them 10 minutes after the restart to equalize through Mohamed Awas, who was on the end of a slick through ball dished out by his captain Wazim Safas. The striker took the ball with a lovely first touch and finished the move past a rooted keeper.
The remaining 20 minutes continued to be end to end, yet failed to provide a winner as both teams did not finish their moves as a result of tiring legs. As the final whistle was blown in a stalemate the game was to be decided by penalties.
The turning point of the game came when the very first penalty for New Star was saved by Praba Wimukthi after a weak shot was taken by Mohamed Ilani. The rest of the spot kicks were efficiently converted by both teams as Ayodeji Tunde converted the penultimate kick clinically to put the Jet Liners through to the next round over a dejected New Stars outfit.
ThePapare.com Man of the Match: Ismalia Abumere