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Delhi escape to a narrow victory

Delhi did it the hard way. Sitting pretty on a 2-0 lead, courtesy a brace by Hindustan FC striker Tuishim Mashangva and a Santosh Trophy quarterfinal berth seemingly within grasp, they bungled big time.

sports Updated: Jul 28, 2010 00:12 IST
HT Correspondent

Delhi did it the hard way. Sitting pretty on a 2-0 lead, courtesy a brace by Hindustan FC striker Tuishim Mashangva and a Santosh Trophy quarterfinal berth seemingly within grasp, they bungled big time.

Ranjit Thapa’s boys let rivals Chhattisgarh claw back into the match, draw level and show enough enterprise to outplay Delhi. When the match went into extra-time and into the penalty shootout, it appeared Chhattisgarh were favourites to win.

However, there was another twist to the tale. Chhattisgarh failed to score off the first two kicks and could not recover a second time.

The tiebreaker gave Delhi goalkeeper Pronoy Roy a chance to make amends for lapses during regulation time. Roy made an excellent save to deny Chhattisgarh playmaker Wasim Raja with the first shot.

Delhi now join Bengal, Tamil Nadu and the winners of Kerala and Mizoram, who play on Wednesday, in the quarter-final group league.

Delhi shot into the lead when Mashangva, midfielder Zenith Genius, headed in off a flag-kick. The 21-year-old pounced on a loose ball in a goalmouth melee. His second strike, off another header, was better. Mashangva cleverly headed the ball over an advancing goalkeeper from a long clearance by the Delhi deep defence.

Delhi however lost its rhythm in the middle. Roy conceded five minutes after running in. Mohammad M. Siddique cut in from the right and with Roy covering the near post, squeezed the ball between the goalie and the upright. The goal gave Chhattisgarh a new lease of life and they virtually laid siege on Delhi. Chhattisgarh drew level in the 79th minute, off a corner-kick.