City’s numero uno team, HAL failed yet again to register full points in the ongoing I-League 2nd Division group A qualifiers against Malabar United at the Bangalore Football Stadium. This is their 3rd consecutive draw in 4 games. In another match, SBT registered their maiden victory over Chandni FC 1-0.
What would have termed as an opportunity to garner full points ended in a tame 1-1 draw and one wonders how HAL was at the receiving end in most of the time.
HAL lacked that extra urge to go for the kill thru the entire game. It was Malabar who went on attacking at the beginning of the game. After raiding HAL’s defense for couple of time, Malabar United opened their account in the 15th minute – overseas player Loveday put a brilliant cross for Sebastian, who fooled the HAL defense, and only had the marching keeper Amar Deb in front. He dribbled past the keeper and shot the ball to the goal.
After conceding the goal, HAL came back to the game and forced couple of corners in quick succession. Fredrick’s goal was cancelled by the referee after he committed foul on Malabar’s keeper.
It was Fredrick Okwagbe again in the 32nd minute followed the ball from a corner in a packed Malabar defense and scored the equalizer.
If it was bad luck and complacency that deprived HAL from winning in their last 2 games, today, it was a poor show in general – the passes were inaccurate in most of the time, midfield lacked coordination with defense, and both the flanks operated slowly. Surely, they missed the service of their midfielder Murali, who was out of the match due to injury.
Malabar missed to score from close range couple of times in the second half. In the 50th minute, Loveday stretched the ball from the half, defeated a defender by pace, and floated the ball for Prasoon, who only failed get past the keeper.
A minute later Prasoon failed to score yet again, and this time goal keeper was not in his position.
HAL too missed easy chances and failed to take lead. Patrick Okwagbe was the culprit in 65th minute, he took too long to shoot the ball to the goal, and finally blocked by the opponents defender.
HAL played aimless football for the later part and many times they were playing the catching game.
HAL needs to win their next game against Golden Threads on Sunday, April 11 to be on a safe zone.
- HAL 1 (Fredrick Okwagbe 32') versus Malabar United 1 (Jacken Sebastian 15')
- SBT 1 (Mohammad Aslam-74') beat Chandni F.C 0
Titanium versus Golden Threads, 4pm