Tegh Bahadur football: Chetak scrape past Sangam Young Boys
PUNE An entertaining game, that did lack goals, saw two Pune District Football Association (PDFA) super division sides, Chetak FC and Sangam Young Boys, go head-to-head in the first round of the senior category at the Guru Tegh Bahadur football tournament at College of Engineering Pune (COEP) ground on Monday.
While Sangam dominated the game, Chetak netted the only goal of the match, in the second half, to earn a narrow victory.
Sangam Young Boys had the full squad at their disposal, while Chetak arrived at the venue with 10 players, including two goalkeepers.
The remainder of the squad was unable to make it to the venue because of college examinations. Chetak decided to field substitute goalkeeper Harshal Ingale as left-winger.
Sangam looked to exploit Chetak early on in the first half, but despite playing an unbalanced team, Chetak were able to keep their shape.
Chetak came extremely close to opening the scoring as Saurabh Aher almost got his head to the ball which was swung in from an early free-kick. Surprisingly, the following attack also came from the boys in red.
After successive Chetak attacks, Sangam pushed forward, building up from the back. Vaibhav D was on the receiving end of a beautiful long ball from Kaushal J.
Vaibhav then played it to Manish Siddha, who dribbled into the Chetak penalty area. Hesitant Siddha did not get his shot away in time and was muscled off the ball.
Chetak had something to cheer about towards the end of the first half as their 11th player, Ankit Dey, arrived at the venue.
In the second half, Sangam looked to exploit Chetak’s weaker left-flank and launched attacks down that wing.
Philip Desa, who miscued his effort earlier, unleashed a stunning strike off a half volley from the edge of the box. His effort was matched by an equally astounding save from the Chetak keeper who was at full stretch. Merik David and Lalit Patil were the next two players who entered the Chetak box with the ball, but were stopped in the tracks by some astute defending.
Amidst the constant attacks by Sangam, Chetak swarmed forward launching a rare attack in the second half. The initial attack was blocked and cleared, but the move ended with a Chetak free-kick on the half-line. Ajinkya Mate lofted the ball into the Sangam box where Saurabh Aher managed to get a glancing touch on the ball, with his head, which was enough to beat the keeper and land in the back of the net.
Sangam Young Boys were livid after conceding the shocking goal. The frustration kept piling on as there were appeals for a hand-ball against Chetak defender, Parag Rawade, inside the Chetak box. Sangam players yelled for a penalty, but the referee asked for the play to go on. After the controversial incident, Sangam lodged a couple more attacks which were beaten away with ease by the Chetak shot-stopper.
From the bench
“The first half was better compared to the second half. The winner was a scrappy goal. It feels good to start with a win and a clean sheet, but we have to practice more. This is the first time we are playing as a team after about five months. We definitely need to improve our game before the next match.”
- Mangesh Shinde, captain, Chetak FC
“Both teams played well. There were certain decisions which should have gone in our favour, but they were not given. The time which was supposed to be added on was not added on. The referee is human and there can be errors. It is a part of the game. It was a game which involved two Super Division teams, so the refereeing should have been better.”
- Anup Sawant, captain, Sangam Young Boys.
Results - Matchday 6
Strikers FC 1 (Nathan Steven 32’) (4) bt Range Hills Young Boys FC 1 (Abein Johnson 52’) (3) on penalties.
SKF 4 (Raheen Shaikh 7’ & 18’, Nisha Parse 10’ & 24’) bt Pune Soccer Club 0
Deccan XI ‘A’ bt Go Sports (Walkover)
Chetak FC 1 (Saurabh Aher 50’) bt Sangam Young Boys 0
CMS Falcon ‘A’ 2 (Anand Vinod 49’ & 65’) (4) bt Aiyfa Sky Hawks ‘A’ 2 (Glenn Sanjay 32’, Ritwik Patil 46’) (3) on penalties