Thursday, April 1, 2010

HAL survives scare against Chandni

 City giant and strong contender to qualify for the I-League 2nd division final leg, HAL struggled, and finally salvaged a draw against Chandni FC, Kozhikode.

HAL started the proceedings by attacking from left to right. Within the first minute of the game, Xavier’s powerful shot from the top of the penalty box was fisted out Chandni keeper Sakeer. Call it a start of a bad omen or what, HAL’s strike to their opponent’s goal was thwarted several times by the crosspiece.

Chandni FC took the lead as early 4th minute of the match. HAL keeper Amar Deb was ahead from the goal when Niaz Reahman smartly lobbed the ball to the far post. The placement was accurate, out of Amar’s reach.

HAL equalized in the 18th minute of the game when skipper Xavier Vijaykumar scored the goal from a defensive lapse.

However, Chandni came back in the game within 2 minutes. In HAL's defense, Satish Kumar (Jr) cleared the ball that hit Naveen Babu’s hand. Referee Arokia Raj awarded penalty for Chandni. Amar Dev’s stretched-dive couldn’t stop Javed O K’s penalty shot from going into the goal.

After conceding the 2nd goal, there was certain urgency from HAL, and they went all-out to pressurize Chandni’s defense.

The match was played in high temper and referee flashed yellow card several times to get a control of the game.

Second-half started in a dull note, with both the teams playing aimless football. HAL looked for an opening but they lacked the fineness of a scorer.

Xavier who primarily plays as a striker would often go down to support the mid-field to control the game. However, while doing so his other striking
partner, Fredrik Okwagbe was left alone without much support. Also, luck didn’t favor them as ball hit the goalpost twice during this time; Chandni keeper was not in a position to save them.

The equalizer came in the dying moments of the match when everybody thought that it was all over for HAL. Substitute Karthigayan centered the ball from the left flank, Sathish Kumar (Jr.) received and passed the ball to Xavier. Captain courageous coolly placed the ball to the goal thus saving his team from the blushes.

Change in kick-off time

Owing to inclement weather and fading light, match commissioner, Elloy Gomes has decided to start the matches 15 minutes before the schedules time. Effective from Friday, April 2 onwards, double header games start from 2 pm and 4 pm respectively. In the single game day, match starts from 4 pm.

Result:
 
HAL 2 (Xavier Vijayakumar-18' and 87') Vs Chandni FC 2 (Niyas Rehman-6' and Javed O K-20' [penalty])

Friday’s Match:
  • SBT versus BEML, 2 pm
  • Titanium versus HAL, 4 pm