Kickstart FC pulled off another miracle as they came back again from 0-2 down to hold Chennaiyin FC to a 2-2 draw and shoot to the top of group D on the Safford Challenge Cup football tournament at the KSFA Stadium here on Sunday morning. Earlier, Sreenidhi Deccan FC defeated Kenkre FC 2-0 in group C.
In the later part of the day, Delhi FC came back from a goal down to register 2-1 win over Bengaluru FC. With back-to-back win, they seem to be a solid contender for the semi-final spot from Group C. In the final game of the day, ARA FC bouncing back from a defeat in their previous game thrashed Kerala United 5-0.
A very compact and solid Chennaiyin FC took control of the match early on and even forged ahead in the very 16th minute of the match. After a one-two with Solaimalai, Givson Singh lobbed the ball into the box and skipper Senthamil dived forward to head it into the goal past goalkeeper Deepak.
In trying to curb their attacking intent, Kickstart gave away a freekick to Chennaiyin just outside the box on the left flank. Givson Singh took the award and produced a low curling right footer which settled into the net beyond Deepak’s reach.
But Kickstart came back with some efforts of their own to no avail. In the second half, they changed their combinations and it paid rich dividends. Substitute Muzamiri was a thorn in the Chennai team’s defence and repeatedly broke through. He tacked goalkeeper Devansh Dabas once but failed to fill an untenanted net. However, he provided a fine through pass form Edwin Rosario to slot home a low left footer into the net. Once they had reduced the margin, it was Kickstart all over the opponent defence. In trying to check Muzamiri, stopper Buiswas Yumnan sent the ball rocketing into his own net for an own goal in the 82nd minute.
Both came close to snatching the winner but the defences held firm as they trooped out with a point each. Kickstart top the group with four points with a win and a draw.
Sreenidhi Deccan FC were the dominant lot all along and scored once in each half to emerge winners.
It was Mungong who scored the first goal in the 21st minute pushing home from close following a goalmouth melee. They played relaxed football and made it 2-0 in the 61st as Velmurugan took off on the right and slotted home past custodian Lovepreet Singh. Sreenidhi Deccan also topped group C with four points from one win and a draw while Kenkre have lost both games so far.