Thrilling encounters mark the day of comebacks in RFDL National Championships
Mumbai, 02 May 2023:
The National Championships of the Reliance Foundation Developmental League (RFDL) rounded off on Tuesday with four tightly-contested matches that saw Bengaluru FC and FC Goa winning in Bengaluru and Muthoot FA along with Chanmari FC emerging victorious in Delhi.
Bengaluru FC had a relatively convenient outing against Sreenidi Deccan FC as they maintained a clean sheet. However, the team had to push hard for over an hour in order to break the deadlock and finally found the breakthrough via midfielder Bekey Oram’s goal in the 65th minute. Six minutes later, Sreenidi crumbled under pressure with defender Deepak D P conceding an own goal and effectively washing away any chances of them finding an equaliser in the final 20 minutes.
Similarly, FC Goa just about managed to edge past Little Flower Football Academy (LIFFA) from Trivandrum at the Bangalore Football Stadium (BFS). The two sides refused to cede an inch in a game where they absolutely gave it their all. The Gaurs were fortunate that the defender and their U-23 star Nikhil Prabhu found the back of the net in the 58th minute and the backline organised itself perfectly thereafter to ensure that LIFFA didn’t find a way past them in the concluding half-an-hour.
Muthoot FA engaged in a comparatively higher-scoring encounter up north at Civil Lines in Delhi. Their opponents, Garhwal FC, kicked off on a positive note with forward Iashanbok Buphhang finding the back of the net in the fourth minute itself. Garhwal furthered their dominance over the proceedings and that culminated with them earning a spot-kick in the 23rd minute. Midfielder Richie Kharbani maintained his calm and doubled the lead from the 12-yard box.
However, Muthoot was quick to find their feet back with Arun Raj P striking a penalty in the 30th minute and then getting the equaliser through a well-constructed team move 12 minutes later. The second half was a relatively calmer affair with none of the sides getting the winner until Muthoot’s U-23 forward PV Vishnu netted in the 85th minute. The team then was professional enough to see things through in the last 10 odd minutes and secure three points eventually.
Later in the day, Chanmari FC really dug deep to snatch two points from Chawnpui FC. The game commenced with slightly lower intensity but the momentum picked up with Chawnpui’s midfielder Thangrothuama drawing the first blood in the 24th minute. Chanmari eventually had to fall back to their options on the bench to claw their way back into the game. First, their substitute Lalthanliana converted a spot-kick in their favour in the 66th minute and then forward Laltlanzova, who came off the bench too, struck a goal in the 68th minute to swiftly turn the tides in his team’s favour within a couple of minutes.
From matches with only a solitary goal to ones that had a plethora of them going in; Tuesday saw a variety of games unfolding in the RFDL National Championships. Following are the brief scores and schedule of the same for Wednesday.
Bengaluru FC 2 (Bekey Oram 65′) – 0 (Deepak D P OG 71′) Sreenidi Deccan
LIFFA Trivandrum 0 – 1 (Nikhil Prabhu 58′) FC Goa
Muthoot FA 3 (Arjun Raj 30′ 42′, P V Vishnu 85′) – 2 (Iashanbok Buhphang 4′, Richie Kharbani 23′) Garhwal FC
Chanmari FC 2 (Lalthanliana 66′, Laltlanzova 68′) – 1 (Thangrothuama 24′) Chawnpui FC
3rd May 2023 Schedule
Classic FA vs NorthEast United FC – SAI Complex, 10 am
ATK Mohun Bagan vs Shillong Lajong – SAI Complex, 2 pm