Former champions Gokulam Kerala registered a comfortable 2-0 win over the Indian Air Force (IAF) in a Group C match of the Durand Cup football tournament in Kolkata on Wednesday. Sourav and Sreekuttan scored on either side of the half as the IAF could not match up to the Malabarians. The first good chance for Gokulam came just before the 20-minute mark when Noufal broke through on the right, but his cut back in for an onrushing Nili Perdomo saw the Spaniard shoot way above the target.
The goal came thanks to a blunder by Shibinraj. An innocuous attempt on goal by Sourav saw the experienced Air Force keeper misjudge the bounce and direct his save into his own goal inadvertently.
Alex Sanchez then missed an opportunity to double that lead but a one-goal lead was what Gokulam took to the break.
In the second half, Sreekuttan broke away after being put through by Sanchez and, with a marker in front of him, unleashed a right-footed dink from outside the box which dipped over a full-stretch Shibinraj.
The insurance goal in the bag, the Malabarians did let the foot off the pedal a bit and that was when Saurav Sadhukan, brought on late in the second half, almost made them pay twice with two opportunistic attempts.
It was not to be and Gokulam ran away comfortable winners.
Delhi FC strike late to hold Nepal”s Tribhuvan Army
I-League side Delhi FC rode on a late strike from Girish Khosla to hold Nepal’s Tribhuvan Army FC 1-1, in a Group E fixture of the Durand Cup in Kokrajhar on Wednesday.
Dinesh Henjan gave the Nepal outfit a 39th-minute lead against the run of play and Delhi FC had to wait until the 88th minute to bring on the equaliser.
Delhi FC pushed for a late winner but in the end both teams shared a point each.
Delhi FC now have two draws from as many matches and have managed to stay on the top of the pile in Group E.
Hyderabad FC and the Nepal outfit have one point each, having played one match each.
Delhi FC started the first half on the front foot but it was the team from Nepal which created the first chance of the game.
A fine team move on the right side saw Sudil Rai getting free, but his shot was saved well on the near post by Delhi goalkeeper Pawan Kumar.
Delhi were more organised on the field while the side from Nepal were relying on long passes to the forwards.
Himanshu Jangra’s free kick was saved on to the post by Nepal keeper Bikesh Kuthu.
However, both sides lacked the creativity in the final stretch, which led to the lack of clear cut opportunities.
Tribhuvan Army took the lead through a mistake by Delhi FC goalkeeper Pawan Kumar when he spilled a cross from Nepal captain Nawayug Shrestha, which fell for Kamal Bahadur Thapa.
He provided the assist for Dinesh Henjan who had to just divert the ball inside the goal.
Delhi responded well after conceding and had some coordinated attacks, but the Tribhuvan defence held on to maintain their lead at halftime.
Delhi FC started the second half with the intent of finding the equaliser but it was Tribhuvan who had the first shot on target.
They forced a double save out of Pawan Kumar to keep the score line intact.
Delhi continued to pile the pressure on the opponent, but Tribhuvan Army FC were organised in defence and did not give its forwards Bali Gagandeep and Himanshu Jangra any space inside the box.
Delhi FC finally broke the resilient Army when Fahad Temuri fired in a low cross from the left, which was met well by substitute Kuntal Pakira.
His shot beat the keeper but hit the crossbar and the rebound was bundled in by Girish Khosla.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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