Sri Lanka are one win away from claiming their first medal at the 2018 Asian Games, as the Men’s Rugby 7s team take on Japan in the semi-finals of the tournament tomorrow (01).
Victory would guarantee a medal – either gold or silver – while defeat would mean they have to win their bronze medal match, likely against South Korea who face Hong Kong in the semis.
Sri Lanka won both their matches today (31), first beating Afghanistan 36-00 in their final Pool C game, and then China 17-12 in the quarter-finals.
In the quarter-final match against China, Sri Lanka took a 17-05 lead into half-time, and despite failing to score in the second half they managed to hold on the win.
In what proved to be a closely contested match up, Sri Lanka conceded an early lead as China's Chao Zhang scored an unconverted try in the second minute.
But the momentum of the game changed in the fifth minute when Sudam Parinda and Srinath Sooriyabandara scored two tries is the space of as many minutes, one of which was converted, as Sri Lanka surged ahead.
Another unconverted try, scored by Reeza Raffaideen, meant Sri Lanka took a healthy 12 point lead (17-05) into the break.
Changshun Shan's try in the third minute of the second half brought China to within five points of Sri Lanka, but the Tuskers saw out a nervy final four and a half minutes to take a 17-12 win.
In the match against Afghanistan, Parinda gave the early advantage to Sri Lanka scoring in the third minute, before Sooriyabandara added a second try three minutes later, sending Sri Lanka into the half-time break with a 14-00 lead.
Kavindu Perera, who came on as a second half substitute scored in the third minute of the half to extend Sri Lanka's lead further before Reeza Raffaideen scored the Tuskers' fourth try a minute later.
Parinda and Sooriyabandara then added tries to their name in the sixth and eighth minute respectively as Sri Lanka recorded a comfortable win.
In the Men's Kayak Single (K1) 200m Men Ranhoti Wijerathen finished sixth in his heat and eighth in the final which was not enough to progress further.
Nishantha Weerathunga meanwhile finished his 12-Race Laser Standard event in Men’s sailing in 15th place.
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