St. Henry’s College, Ilavali, Jaffna created history when they registered a resounding 3-1 win over defending champions Zahira College, Colombo to clinch the Kotmale U-19 School Football Championships at a packed Race Course grounds on Friday.
The little known players from Jaffna took an early lead when Zahirian M Musharaf gifted an own goal with just three minutes in the first half. But Zahira came back to hit the equalizer through M Hammath in the 45th minute to take lemons at 1-1.
With the score deadlocked on 1-1 both teams gave their hearts out in the second half but the boys from Jaffna found the net twice in the 67th and 73rd minute to clinch the coveted title.
Ganeshwarana Antonyraj scored for the winners in the 67th minute to put the defending champions under pressure and six minutes later Alfred Benedict Anojan who was later adjudged the player of the match scored their third goal. With a comfortable 3-1 lead with 17 minutes of play left, St. Henry’s played safe thereafter to seal a memorable win. Zahira made a few shots at the net but could not pass the goal-keeper Ukantheeswaran Amalraj who was brilliant. St. Henry’s is coached by MD Wijekumar.
Holy Cross beat St. Sebastian’s Katuneriya 1-0 to win the third place.
The tournament saw 24 teams across the island competing for the coveted title. The tournament was organized by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka and was sponsored by Kotmale, a subsidiary of Cargills PLC.