Football Hero I-League

CCFC fight off late comeback by 10-man NEROCA

KOLKATA: A clinical attacking display saw Chennai City FC get the three points against ten-man NEROCA at the VYBK Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday with a 2-1 win. Strikes by Vineeth Kumar and Demir Avdic were enough to hand Chennai City the win despite Subash Singh halving the deficit in the 79th minute. With this win, Chennai City FC find themselves in the top half of the table, however, NEROCA were still tenth on the table.

CCFC wasted no time in showing their attacking intent. On the 4th minute, Vladimir Molerovic tried to hand the Satyasagara-coached team the lead, but his effort from distance went inches over the bar. The Chennai-based club had to wait just two minutes after Molerovic’s attempt to take the lead. In a brilliant show of footballing skill, Vineeth Kumar was found by an accurate cross by Mohamed Iqbal from the left flank on the far post. Vineeth’s diving header from a tight angle beat the opposition custodian. CCFC lead 1-0.

NEROCA did not hold back in the second half and fought for every inch on the field. Although they attacked in droves, the Gift Raikhan-coached side lacked creativity up front with Subash Singh mostly isolated and unable to link play with Judah Garcia. Their efforts to grab the equaliser were highly minimised in the 61st minute when Shoib Akhtar was sent off for a rash tackle on Jockson Dhas.

Playing with ten men, NEROCA were dealt another heavy blow on the 68th minute when Demir Avdic made no mistake to double Chennai City’s lead as he headed home his effort from close range. However, they did not go out without a fight. The breakthrough came in the 79th minute for NEROCA. Judah Garcia’s attempt from close range was heroically saved by the opposition goalkeeper, but the ball fell to Subash Singh, who smashed it home from a hand-shaking distance.

Punjab survive: RoundGlass Punjab moved up to the second spot on the Hero I-League standings after they beat Indian Arrows 2-1 at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium on Tuesday. A brace from debutant and eventual Hero of the Match Papa Babacar Diawara ensured that RoundGlass Punjab picked up all three points despite a late goal by Vellington Fernandes.

The opener came in the 35th-minute as Papa Babacar Diawara brought down Aphaoba Singh’s cross before smashing it past Ahaan Prakash in the Arrows goal. RoundGlass kept on looking for the second goal towards the end of the first half. Chencho’s dipping strike was palmed away brilliantly by Ahaan in the 44th minute, ensuring RoundGlass Punjab had only a single-goal lead at halftime.

RoundGlass Punjab kept on knocking the Arrows defence and reaped rewards in the 56th minute. Joseba Beitia found Papa Diawara, as the latter powered his header from close range and doubled his side’s lead.

A couple of minutes later, Vellington Fernandes reached substitute Abdul Hannan’s cut-back cross, to pull a goal back. Parthib Gogoi created a chance for himself deep into added time, but his long ranger was safely handled by Limbu. RoundGlass Punjab ran down the clock to notch-up their win second game on the run in the Hero I-League. (Picture & Report: AIFF Team)