Visitors Colombo FC fell prey to Indian giants Mohun Bagan in the second leg of South Zone playoff for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup 2017. Two well-worked goals from Sony Norde (28') and Darryl Duffy (56') either side of half-time helped Sanjoy Sen's side subdue the challenge from the Sri Lankan side. Momas Yapo (88') grabbed a consolation for Colombo FC.
Commenting on the contest, Colombo FC manager Mohamed Roomey Hasan expressed his happiness on his team's efforts. ''This was our first international tournament. I am satisfied with the boys performance against Indian giants Mohun Bagan,'' he stated.
Further, the former Lankan national team player discussed the reasons for lack of popularity of football at homeland Sri Lanka. He mentioned that the absence of sponsors is one of the major causes for it.
''We still aren’t professional. Indian football is improving day by day, we have seen the leagues in India. But, in Sri Lanka, we have just two tournaments- the FA Cup and Premier League. The problem is that we do not have sponsors in Sri Lanka,'' he explained.
The Sri Lankan side's three foreigners arrived at the host nation on the day of the clash. This is because The Indian High Commission in Colombo granted visas to them in the dying hours. Due to this, the players had a chaotic experience. The boss revealed that the continuous travelling fatigued the trio.
''We spent a lot of money to get our foreigners (Seka Jean 'Momas' Yapo, Nasiru Opeyemi and Afeez Olayemi ) here, nearly 500-1000 dollars on each ticket. The tickets were bought last evening at around 6pm. The players started travelling at 3am, landed here (India) at 10am and reached the hotel at 11:30am. There was absolutely no rest given to them. Despite this, they played well and showed their determination,'' disclosed Hasan.
Haiti International Sony Norde scored the opening goal for The Mariners. Speaking about the 27-year-old, Hasan applauded his creativity on the field. ''Sony Norde is a skillful player. Such players are difficult to stop,'' commented the visiting side's gaffer.
Lastly, sharing his assessment of the home side, Hasan claimed that the Kolkata outfit is weak defensively. ''Mohun Bagan have a good attack. But, I still feel their defense is shaky. We have broken their defense many times so I think they are still shaky,'' he signed off.