FA Cup quarterfinals start on Saturday
It is interesting to note that this year's Holcim FA Cup quarterfinals will see four sports clubs clash in two matches while the services will face each other in the other two matches. On Saturday former champions Ratnam will take on Don Bosco at Kelaniya Football Complex and the Sailors versus Airmen game will be played at the City Football Complex.
Five times champion Ratnam will be led by veteran Tharusha Rangana and will have the services of former skipper and playmaker Rawmi Mohideen, M. Yogarajan, Chrishantha Abeysekara, B. Shivanka, Tuwan Rizni, Ravindra Lasantha, all capable of showing class football.
Last year's runner-up Don Bosco is led by former national player Dilki Kumar Fernando. The Negombo side has some fine players such as last year's captain Manjula Kumara, Dilip Dalpathado, Thejan Fernando, Ranga Fernando and Mohammed Ramzi. Both teams are capable of toppling each other and when they met in last year's Champions League the first leg ended in a draw and in a high scoring return leg Don Bosco won by 4 goals to 3 in Negombo.
Though it is said that the quarterfinals will be played at neutral grounds Ratnam will be playing at their home ground because most of their home matches in the league had been played at Kelaniya. In the other match to be played on Saturday, 2010 winners Sri Lanka Navy will take on Sri Lanka Air Force at the City Football Complex.
On the cards Sailors are looking stronger than the Airmen. When both these teams met last year in the Champions League Navy had the better in both legs and they are hoping to repeat it in the FA Cup as well.
On Sunday, defending champions Sri Lanka Army take on Sri Lanka Police at the City Football Complex and Renown faces the challenge of New Youngs from Wennappuwa at the Kelaniya Football Complex.
- By Tony Mike