Friday, May 14, 2010

Confident HAL march on

A confident looking HAL shrugged-off early jitters and defeated Vasco 2-1. Vasco initially unsettled HAL’s campaign and took the lead in the 2nd minute. HAL came back strongly into the match and scored a goal in each half. In the earlier match, Malabar United defeated NISA 1-0.

A defensive error by Bimal Minz gave Vasco an opportunity to take the lead. Sibra Narzary received the ball from foreigner Koko, coming from the right side fast-paced Sibra dribbled past Bimal Minz, and took an accurate shot to the near post. The ball went past to the left of keeper Amar Deb.

Perhaps, this jolt was needed for HAL, they started playing posessional game, and slowly came back to the game. 20 minutes into the game and HAL equalized. Minz gave a long pass to Xavier, who was moving dangerously from the left flank. The later was brought down by defender Sudeesh Muttiah. Fredrick Okwagbe timed his spot-jump in perfection from Xavier’s free-kick and scored the equalizer.    

The winning goal came from the 20-year old diminutive striker Satish Kumar Junior, who hails from the football nursery of Bangalore, Gowthampuram and has been a revelation for HAL. It was the old war horse Xavier Vijay Kumar again in action. From the left flank, he floated a cross to the far post for skipper, Rajendra Prasad. Prasad’s powerful header hit the cross-piece and rebounded into the ground, Satish Kumar Junior rightly came close to the ball and scored the winner.

Vasco pressed a lot but denied an equalizer, thanks to some tight defending by HAL.

The match was marred by some poor referring by Amjad Khan Mansoori. Just after the final whistle, Vasco players and officials barged into the field and attacked the referee. A timely intervention by the KSFA officials prevented from any untoward incident. The crowd came in a sizeable number of around 3000 today. One section of them reacted wildly and started pelting empty bottles and molded chairs to the Vasco players. The bizarre part was that the deployed police not seen in the scene.

Talking to GardenCitySoccerStars, Chitti Babu, the match commissioner sounded normal, “Nothing great as happened today, match got over, then few players and team officials charged referee. I don’t see any wrong in referee’s part as he completed the match. Security personnel’s were deployed there, however, I feel they were inadequate in numbers, I’ll mention this in my report.”

Post match comments:

Muralidharan, coach, HAL: Good win for us, we are inching closer to our target. Now the next match against ONGC is crucial for us, a win should give us license to play 1st division next season. We’ll play the same winning combination next match. Once we achieve our goal, then we can try out our bench strength.

Satish Kumar Junior, striker, HAL: I’m elated, good to see I’m coming good for my team. I’ve represented India in Under-17 national, captained Karnataka state in under-19, and also represented Karnataka in Santosh Trophy. I am not new in the striker position. Before joining HAL I was playing in this position. I had talks with a couple of top national-level clubs, but keen on playing for a top I-league team.

Result:
  • Malabar United 1 (Javeed P A-17') beat NISA 0
  • HAL 2 (Fredrick Okwagbe-20 and Satish Kr. Jr.-51') versus Vasco 1 (Sibra Narzary-2')

Next Match - May 16 (Round 5):
  • Mohammedan Sporting Club versus Oil India, 2 pm
  • Vasco Sports Club versus Malabar United, 4 pm