AFC Cup: Chennaiyin FC v Colombo FC - Know your opponents from Sri Lanka
Chennaiyin FC will lock horns with Colombo FC on March 6 and 13 in a two-legged playoff tie for a spot in the AFC Cup 2019 group stages.
Chennaiyin FC will travel to Sri Lanka for the first leg to be played at the Colombo Race Course Ground at 3.30 pm. The second leg will be held at The Arena Stadium in Ahmedabad a week later on March 13.
Colombo defeated Transport United of Bhutan 9-2 on aggregate to set the playoff with Chennaiyin FC. The winners will be placed in Group E of the AFC Cup alongside Minerva Punjab (India), Abahani Dhaka Limited (Bangladesh) and Manang Marshyangdi Club (Nepal).
Here's everything you need to know about Colombo FC before the AFC Cup playoff:
Team Name: Colombo FC
Nationality: Sri Lanka
Founded In: 2008
Home Ground (AFC Cup): Race Course International Stadium, Colombo
League: Dialog Champions League (Sri Lankan Top Division)
Nickname: Colombo Lions
Head Coach: Ruwan Priyantha Kumara
Technical Director: Mohamed Roomy Hassan
Major Achievements: Dialog Champions League Winners (2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18); City League President’s Cup (2015, 2016, 2017); Sri Lankan FA Cup (2015); Silver Cup Championship (2010, 2011)
Past AFC Cup Record: 2017 AFC Cup Qualifying Playoff – lost to Mohun Bagan AC (4-2 on aggregate)
Current AFC Cup Squad: Charitha Rathnayake (Captain), Momas Yapo (Vice Captain), Mohamed Imran (GK), Mohamed Shakir (GK), Kaveesh Lakpriya (GK), Ahamed Shazny, Dilan Kawshalya de Silva, Niran Kanishka, Eranga Buddika Perera, Chalana Chameera, Mohamed Rawme, Mohamed Shafran, Mohamed Siraj Jain, Mohamed Zarwan, Mohamed Rifnas, Mohamed Aakib, Shishan Prabuddha, Afeel Mohamed, Mohamed Rilwan, Mohamed Fasal, Bodric Dimitri, Duckson Puslas, Addevu Isaac, Asikur Rahuman
Coach Speak: It is very exciting to face Chennaiyin FC in the playoff stage in the 2019 AFC Cup. We are looking forward to a very big game on March 6. It indeed is a great honour and prestige to play Chennaiyin FC in the playoff stage.
Fans’ Speak: We look forward to this big game and are very excited to see Chennaiyin FC facing Colombo FC in Sri Lanka. We welcome our friends from India with all due respect.
Brief History: Colombo FC was founded in 2008 in the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo. After participating in the Colombo City Football League and the Colombo Football League, the club received entry into the Sri Lankan Division 3 in the 2009-10 season, reaching the quarter-final stage in their debut season at that level.
Colombo bagged their first piece of silverware in April 2010 by winning the Silver Cup Championship, a knock-out tournament involving teams from Colombo city. They went on to finish as runners-up in Division 3 in the 2010-11 season, following it up with a second successive Silver Cup triumph.
Promoted to Division 2 the next campaign, Colombo FC lost out in the semis. However, all the semi-finalists were promoted to the Sri Lankan top flight, the Dialog Champions League the following season. Their debut season (2014-15) in the top flight saw them finish top of the league table but lose out in the quarters in the knockout stage. Colombo also reached the semis of the Sri Lankan FA Cup that season.
The 2015-16 campaign saw Colombo FC bag the Dialog Champions League and Sri Lankan FA Cup double. This meant maiden qualification to the AFC Cup preliminary round, wherein they lost 4-2 on aggregate to Indian club Mohun Bagan AC. That year (2016-17), Colombo retained the Dialog Champions League and also went on to win the Colombo City League President’s Trophy, jointly with Renown SC.
Colombo made it a hat-trick of Sri Lankan top flight titles when they won the 2017-18 Dialog Champions League, thus securing qualification to the 2019 AFC Cup preliminary round. In the latest edition of the Dialog Champions League, Colombo FC finished in 2nd place, while having beaten Bhutan’s Transport United 9-2 on aggregate in the 2019 AFC Cup preliminary round to set up a clash with Chennaiyin FC in the South Zone qualifying playoff round.