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Football: Dramatic comeback win for Gokulam, Sudeva Delhi register first victory in Hero I-League
Kolkata, January 14, 2021
Gokulam Kerala came from two goals down and found the net thrice in the second half to earn a remarkable comeback 4-3 win against RoundGlass Punjab at the VYBK Stadium here while, in another Hero I League match, debutants Sudeva Delhi overpowered Indian Arrows to register their first win of the season at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium on Thursday.
At Kalyani, a goal apiece by Kean Lewis, Mahesh Singh, and substitute Shaiborlang Kharpan led the Delhi-based club to an easy win over the Indian Arrows in a match largely dominated by the Delhi outfit, both in terms of chances created and possession.
Sudeva Delhi started the match on an attacking note, squeezing out the young midfield of Indian Arrows. Kean Lewis, who orchestrated most of the attacks for Delhi put them ahead in the 40th minute when he capitalized on a mistake by Ahaan Prakash and found the net from a tight angle.
Sudeva continued their dominant performance and doubled their lead in the 49th minute. Mahesh Singh capitalized on yet again a defensive error and slotted home from a tight angle (2-0).
The Indian Arrows seem to crack under pressure and gave away possession too cheaply. The high pressing style of play worked wonders for Sudeva Delhi and in the 51st minute, Mahesh Singh’s free-kick rattled the post of the Arrows’ goal as they searched to put the tie to bed.
Shariborlang Kharpan finally put the tie to rest in the 66th minute when he bundled home a free ball off a corner kick to give Sudeva a three-goal advantage.
In Kolkata In a tale of two halves, the first belonged to RoundGlass Punjab. Chencho Gyeltshen’s quick-fire brace and a goal by Rupert Nongrum failed to safeguard Punjab’s lead as a second-half comeback by Gokulam Kerala FC cut short Punjab’s euphoria. A brace by Dennis Antwi and an own goal by Anwar Ali in the second half led the Kerala outfit to register a remarkable win.
Despite Gokulam’s chances and domination of possession, it was RoundGlass Punjab who surged ahead. In the 17th minute, Chencho was slyly found by a cushioned header inside the box, from a free kick, and the Bhutanese International slotted into the bottom corner to give Punjab the lead.
Gokulam a were denied their best opportunity of the match courtesy of Kiran Limbu’s world-class save in the 24th minute. Limbu made a miraculous save from a Philip Adjah tap-in after he was found by a low cross by Dennis Antwi. Gokulam’s loss was Punjab’s gain.
Off the resulting corner, Sanju Pradhan stole possession and ran towards goal. With Chencho alongside him, Pradhan played a quick pass to the Bhutanese forward as he slotted home the first time to double RoundGlass Punjab’s lead.
Philip Adjah reduced the deficit for Gokulam In the 26th minute when his outside of the boot shot left Kiran Limbu bewildered. The writing on the wall came in the 44th minute for Gokulam as Chencho ran towards goal and set up an onrushing Rupert Nongrum who slotted it past a hapless goalkeeper to make it 3-1 for RoundGlass Punjab FC.
RoundGlass Punjab made two defensive changes shortly after, bringing Anwar Ali and Bikash Yumnam for Ashray Bhardwaj and Sanju Pradhan, respectively. In the 70th minute, Dennis Antwi headed home from close range off a Deepak Devrani free-kick to reduce Gokulam’s deficit to one goal.
The spurred comeback was complete in the 72nd minute when Dennis Antwi used his physical prowess to latch onto a long ball, unleashing a half-volley that crashed into the back of the net as the scoreline read 3-3.
But there was even more on the cards. Three minutes later, Anwar Ali scored an own goal after he headed the ball into his net to hand Gokulam the lead. Gokulam did not relent and tried to even double their lead. In the 86th minute, Dennis Antwi failed to find the net after he was released onto goal. With only Limbu to beat, Antwi shot straight at him forcing the Nepalese into an easy save.
Gokulam held on to their slender lead and saw off the match, picking up a remarkable 4-3 comeback win.