Garhwal FC regarded set to log off their I-League Qualifiers 2020 marketing campaign with a win however ended up having to share factors with ARA FC regardless of the crew from Gujarat lacking a first-half penalty. Defender Neeraj Bhandari gave his crew an early lead however a late penalty from Surajit Seal noticed each groups stroll off the sphere on the Kalyani Stadium with a 1-1 draw on Friday.
Garhwal made three modifications to the beginning line-up from the earlier recreation, chief amongst them being the inclusion of Afdal Varikkodan, who broke their goal-scoring duck after approaching instead of their earlier outing. Varikkodan proved to be a continuing risk and had loads of alternatives within the recreation however this time the striker merely could not discover his scoring boots.
ARA had been struggling to deal with the early stress and shortly discovered themselves behind, courtesy a set-piece. Muhammed Shafeer gained the foul within the opposition half after being hacked down by Cedric Fernandes simply as Garhwal had been upping the tempo within the 17th minute. Captain Bala Alhassan despatched in a fantastically floated ball into the realm and defender Bhandari timed his run to perfection earlier than connecting with a strong diving header from shut vary to open the scoring.
ARA had a few good alternatives as they started to search out some pleasure with lengthy balls into their forwards. Shoaib Ahmed, who was Vivek Nagul’s solely change from the earlier recreation, was despatched by way of within the 22nd minute however Garhwal custodian Sayak Barai confirmed good presence of thoughts, lobbing the ball over the onrushing ahead along with his proper hand earlier than amassing safely.
Goalscorer Bhandari was at hand to fulfil his major duty as a defender within the 35th minute when ARA winger Pratik Swamy skipped previous Rahul Das to interrupt into the realm. However, Bhandari was attuned to the hazard and snuffed it out with a last-ditch sort out.
Pratik nonetheless, regarded to have the higher of Das, and 4 minutes later skipped previous him once more, this time inside the realm and was introduced down by the defender’s trailing foot, profitable a penalty. Ahmed took the onus of the spot-kick however noticed his effort fly excessive excessive proper nook. The missed penalty ensured Garwhal went into the breather with a slender one-goal benefit, however effectively conscious of the risk the crew from Ahmedabad possessed.
Garhwal began the second half brightly with Mahip Adhikari rattling the crossbar within the 50th minute with a first-time volley from the sting of the realm. At the opposite finish, Ahmed had one other golden alternative after being performed by way of on objective however his shot solely rippled the facet netting.
A counter-attack ensuing from an ARA nook ought to’ve seen Garwhal double their benefit however as soon as once more they had been wasteful in entrance of objective. Adhikari carried the ball from inside his personal half and even acquired the higher of his marker contained in the penalty space. But with solely the keeper to beat, the midfielder squared it to Varikoddan, whose weak effort was blocked by substitute Akshay Mall.
Varikoddan had one other nice alternative within the 79th minute as he acquired a deft contact to a cross from Suman Sarkar however this time Melroy Fernandes within the ARA objective positioned himself completely to save lots of from point-blank vary.
The missed alternatives got here again to hang-out Garhwal within the very subsequent minute. Prabin Tigga performed a beautifully-weighted lengthy ball into the trail of Stanley Eze, who noticed his try cleared off the road however the Nigerian striker was fouled simply as he pulled the set off and the referee signalled for a penalty.
This time defender Seal stepped as much as take duty and made no mistake, sending Barai the unsuitable solution to degree the rating. The objective sparked off a frenetic finish to the sport as each side hunted relentlessly for the profitable objective however ended up having to share the spoils.
Reflecting on the end result, Garhwal assistant coach Anup Singh mentioned after the match, “It was the last game and we came to win. We got the lead and wanted to maintain it in the second half as we were getting so many chances but the defence got shaky. Changing the strategy at the back didn’t work well though.”
ARA FC assistant coach Salim Pathan mentioned, “The game didn’t work according to our plan. We wanted to take three points from this game and move onto the next, but it did not work. The first penalty was very crucial but a miss can happen in the game under pressure. But, that could’ve changed the entire outcome. For the next game, we’ll ask our boys to just play for pride. We’re already out but we’ll try to play as good as we can as a team.”
The win marks the top of the marketing campaign for Garhwal who end with simply the solitary level on the desk. ARA FC, who now have two factors from three video games, are out of competition and subsequent return to the Kalyani Stadium to tackle Bhawanipore FC on the ultimate matchday on Monday.