Renown outclassed defending champions Ratnam in the final by four goals to one and clinched the Phoenix Cup at the City Football Complex on Saturday. It was an off day for the custodian Shehan Sylveira of Ratnam who misjudged occasionally to allow Renown forwards to do the rest.
However, it was Ratnam who threatened in the second minute of the game to score. But they were unlucky as E. B. Channa's classy cross from the left flank went begging as Chryshantha Abeysekera and T. Eranga missed the opportunity miserably.
It was a big blow for Ratnam at the outset. Renown's play maker Fazlur Rahuman played a great game and was instrumental in creating chances for the forwards to score easily. In the 19th minute, his long pass from was well controlled by A. A. M. Ahameda, a Libyan, sent the ball into the right of the net to give Renown one nil lead.
Nine minutes later Rowmie Mohideen sent in a booming kick from 25 yards out to level the scores. Renown surged ahead within four minutes as Zamil Ahamed slotted the ball crossed by Fazlur Rahman again as Shehan failed to hold on to the ball.
Ratnam did not give up and its skipper Channa went on a solo effort down the left flank and came close to score but it was blocked by Satheeeskumar who was outstanding between the posts..
During the injury time of the first half Shehan made yet another mistake and Mohammed Rizni made it 3-1 for Renown. Soon after the half time, M. Ahameda headed home his second and Renown's fourth goal in the 46th minute off a free kick taken by Fazlur Rahman from just outside the box.
Champions received the Phoenix Cup and cash prize of rupees 100,000/- and the runner up received rupees 50,000/-. Medals were also presented.
Full credit must go to City Football League Committee Members who organized the tournament so well and the crowd gathered in hundreds at the grounds reminded that the football enthusiasm and fever is still there.