The Blues extended their lead at the top to five points after they claimed a routine 3-1 victory against Thinadhoo at the Galolhu National Stadium on Monday evening in the ongoing Ooredoo Dhivehi Premier League. Candela, Ali Ashfaq and Adrian Gallardo were all on the score sheet for the Blues while Jose Avila scored the only goal for Thinadhoo.
The result saw New Radiant picked up 30 points from 11 games, five ahead of TC Sports Club who play Milandhoo on Tuesday could cut the gap to just two points if they managed to pick maximum points from that game.
Meanwhile, Thinadhoo remained on fifth place with 11 points, four behind Club Green Streets on fourth place.
Ali Suzain’s side are still without a win since he took the charge of the team at the beginning of the second round of the league.
Thinadhoo came into this game without their midfielder Ahmed Niyaz who missed out due to suspension, Ansar Ibrahim was the replacement.
Ali Fasir had the first attempt on goal with just four minutes on the when he forced a decent save out of Dzhanybekov Ruslan with a free-kick from outside the box.
Two minutes later, Rilwan Waheed tried his luck with an acrobatic shot from just outside the box but his attempt went over the bar.
Then on 9 minutes, Candela nearly setup Ibrahim Fazeel for the opening goal but before he could connect with the ball, Ruslan collected it.
At the other end, Mohamed Riswan was fed by Ibrahim Mubeen but the Blues keeper Imran Mohamed raced outside the penalty area and made the clearance on 15 minutes.
Moments later, Ashfaq had a shot blocked by Ruslan before Gallardo followed it with a strike from outside the box, but his attempt went wide.
The Blues finally took the lead in the 21st minute when Ali Fasir’s corner from right side was headed by Candela.
Two minutes later, Imran wasted a decent chance for Thinadhoo when he failed to hit the target from inside the box.
In the 31st minute, Ahmed Rizuwan nearly found Ansar but another brilliant piece of defending from the Blues defenders denied him.
Then on 35 minutes, Fasir’s attempt was punched for a corner by Ruslan before another brilliant clearance by Imran denied Riswan again moments later.
As the game was headed to the break, Thinadhoo had a shout for an appeal for a penalty turned down by the referee when Ansar looked to be fouled inside the box by Akram Abdul Ghani.
With four minutes before the break, Ashfaq double his team’s lead after receiving a decent ball from Gallardo.
Gallardo missed a decent chance to extend his team’s lead as he fired a header wide from Fazeel’s cross down the right side with few minutes remained from the first half.
During the opening minutes of the second half, Rilwan’s poor clearance nearly went in at the wrong end as it hits the post before Imran collected it.
In the 56th minute, Fasir was unlucky not score from outside the box as his strike went inches over the bar.
Then on 63 minutes, Ashfaq had another decent chance for the Blues but he fired wide from inside the box.
Jose Avila pulled a goal back for Thinadhoo two minutes later.
Then on 71 minutes, Gallardo restored the two-goal cushion for his side as he made it 3-1 when he was on the end of a brilliantly taken corner by Candela, and Fasir had a wonderful chance to add another but he was denied by a superb save from Ruslan.
Jorge Caicedo had a good chance for Thinadhoo but he headed wide from Ansar’s free-kick with six minutes from time.