|Tamil Eelam in the pre-match lineup|
Tamil Eelam made a great start to their Tynwald Hill international Football tournament campaign today, in a thrilling match, which saw them come back from a one goal deficit to secure a 5-3 victory.
|Players celebrate with Team Manager Ragesh Nambiar after a brilliant game|
The team and its fans arrived early to the stadium in anticipation of their first game of the torunament.
|Tamil Eelam players warm up while Sealand players and Tamil Eelam supporters look on
Following light training sessions, players from both teams made their way back on to the pitches for the 7.30pm kick-off.
The teams lined up for their respective national anthems, and proceeded to exchange pennants and take team photographs.
|Captain Mayo and the team just before kick-off|
|Goalkeeper Umaesh Sundaralingam holds fort whilst midfielders put in a hard graft|
Tamil Eelam began to pressure the Sealand defence with winger Gvinthan Navaneethakrishnan winning a notable amount of free-kicks, as he overloaded his opposing defender.
|Gvinthan attacks the wing|
|Kulenthiran is played through to face a one on one with the Sealand keeper...|
|...before slotting the ball into the back of the net through the legs of the keeper|
Though Sealand managed to equalise against the run of play, they were met with a spectacular response from striker Panushanth Kulenthiran, who put Tamil Eelam in the lead by spinning away from two defenders and calmly curling a shot into the top right corner from outside the box.
|Kulenthiran makes space in the box for himself...|
|...and curls a shot into the back of the net|
|Team captain Majo heads in the equalising goal|
|Tamil Eelam players run to fans to celebrate victory|
“Our players showed tremendous determination to keep fighting for the victory that we deserved. Despite falling a goal behind after playing so well , we managed to stay focused and work hard to get the result we wanted. I would also like to thank the fans that have travelled so far to support our national team.”
“With Karampuli Naal coming up tomorrow to remember those that gave up their lives with unwavering commitment to the nation, I think it is important that we exhibited a relentless desire to win the game for our nation.”
“The team showed a brilliant attacking display today and showcased its true potential. However, the back four are our unsung heroes of this game. Our keeper answered all questions that were asked of him during the game. They provided the solid foundation that encouraged our attacking players to be relentless in their pursuit of goals. As a team, what we must learn from this game is to be constantly focused and aware, as the goals we gave away where from momentary lapses in concentration. I am confident that the team will display a strong performance against our next components Occitania ”
“I feel really confident about our back four, we work well together and have full faith in each other’s capabilities. I have never played with a group of players that feel as comfortable and solid as the ones that I am playing with now. Today, our team showed determination and discipline , to ensure victory, despite unjustly falling behind in the game.”
Tamil Eelam will pay their next match of the tournament against Occitania on Saturday 6th July at 7.00pm.
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A live stream of the match can be viewed on the Tamil Eelam Football Association website.