KALYANI: RoundGlass Punjab FC extended their winning run as they beat Chennai City FC 2-0 at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium on Saturday. With the result, the Punjab side have now displaced Churchill Brothers on the summit of the Hero I-League points table with 14 points in eight games — one point ahead of the Red Machines, who have played one game less.
A solid performance in goal by Hero of the Match Kiran Kumar Limbu, sandwiched between goals by Papa Diawara and Robert Nongrum ensured Curtis Fleming’s men picked up all three points in their Round 8 game.
RoundGlass Punjab created the first big opening of the game in the 18th minute. Chencho flicked a long ball over his marker and forced a brilliant save from Chennai City’s Kabir Toufik. Both teams settled down and kept fighting hard in the middle of the park for possession, as Punjab were more penetrative and kept knocking Chennai City’s goal.
RoundGlass kept pushing and reaped rewards in the 43rd minute. Souvik Das’ cross found Papa Babacar Diawara just outside the six-yard box. The Senegalese held off a challenge from Tarif Akhand and volleyed his effort past a stranded Kabir Toufik.
Chennai created a rare opportunity to equalise in the 59th minute. Demir Avdic won the ball off a defender, before breaking in the box and sending a bullet strike towards goal. However, Kiran Kumar produced a magnificent save, ensuring his side’s lead was safe.
In the 88th minute Aphaoba Singh broke on the counter, latching on to a long pass from Beitia, before sending in a dipping shot. Toufik saved the shot but sent the rebound into the path of substitute Rupert Nongrum, who made sure he remained onside and duly put the ball into an empty net.
Kerala FC triumph: Gokulam Kerala FC kept their hopes alive of finishing in the top half of the table before the next round of the Hero I-League after the Malabarians produced a stellar performance to defeat high flying TRAU 3-1 at the KBK Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday.
Vincy Barreto’s cross from the right flank found an onrushing Emil Benny inside the box. Benny produced a moment of sheer brilliance and volleyed it first time into the net to give Gokulam the lead.
TRAU were dealt another blow in the 57th minute when Sharif Mohammad was found unmarked inside the box after Dennis Antwi flick-on from a corner kick found him inside the box. With ample space and time, Sharif fired from close range into the net to double the lead.
In the 86th minute, Zodingliana Ralte bundled home his chance from close range after Dennis Antwi was brought down inside the box, to give Gokulam Kerala FC a three-goal advantage, and immediately in the very next minute, TRAU pulled a goal back as Komron Tursunov’s venomous shot from just inside the box whizzed past the opposition custodian and crashed into the net to make the scoreline read 3-1.
Lukman’s hat-trick: In the highest goal-scoring game of the Hero I-League so far, Real Kashmir FC defeated NEROCA FC 4-3 at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium on Saturday. Real Kashmir FC rode Lukman Adefemi’s hat-trick to defeat the Manipuri side in a topsy-turvy match that saw NEROCA equalize after falling behind by two goals, only for Adefemi’s stunner in the second half to steal the show and hand three points to the Snow Leopards. (Text & picture: AIFF Media)
|RoundGlass Punjab FC||8||4||2||2||14|
|Real Kashmir FC||7||3||4||0||13|
|Churchill Brothers FC Goa||7||3||4||0||13|
|Gokulam Kerala FC||7||3||1||3||10|
|Tiddim Road Athletic Union||8||2||4||2||10|
|Chennai City FC||7||3||0||4||9|
|Sudeva Delhi FC||6||2||2||2||8|