Arrows, Dempo draw 1-1
Take a bow Arthur Papas and his boys in white called the Pailan Arrows. Not only did they hold five-time National League champions Dempo to a pulsating 1-1 draw on the opening day of the Federation Cup at the Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur on Wednesday, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) developmental side matched their highly rated opponents move by move.
The AIFF developmental side looked the more enterprising in the first half. The understanding between Alwyn George and Milan Singh in the middle of the park was outstanding to say the least. The duo played some wonderful one twos between them and on one occasion Alwyn almost broke free to score. An alert Subhashish Roy Choudhury came to the rescue for the I-League champions. In goal, Soren Porei Angamba made a brilliant fingertip save to deny Dempo new recruit Ryuji Sueoka in the 35th minute. The ricocheting ball hit the horizontal.
Arrows got their reward in the 52nd minute through Holicharan Narzary who placed the ball beautifully from an acute angle after Milan Singh had set him up inside the box.
The I-league champions replaced Japanese new recruit Ryuji Sueoka with Koko Sakibo immediately after conceding the goal. A Clifford Miranda brilliance got them level pegging in the 60th minute. The Goan cut past his marker and controlled the ball expertly to slot home a well placed left-footer.
But Arrows did not give up. Holicharan was unlucky not to have scored his second in the 65th minute when his shot struck the crosspiece.
Arrows head coach Arthur Papas was delighted with the effort of his young team.
"The match was a big a big challenge us, playing against the I-League champions. I am glad that we played well. This result will give us a lot of confidence," he said.
Image: Pronoy Halder of Pailan Arrows (3rd right) heads the ball as Dempo goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury tries to catch
Photographs: AIFF Media
Lajong pip Mumbai FC 2-1
In another match, Shillong Lajong got the better of Mumbai FC 2-1 on the opening day of the Federation Cup.
John Mayongar and Gbeneme Friday scored on either half of the lemon break to secure full three points for Lajong. For Mumbai FC ND Opara found the back of the net.
Lajong opened the scoring in the 43rd minute Mayongar who converted from the spot after a Mumbai FC defender handled the ball inside the 18-yard box. But their slender lead was negated two minutes later as Ndobusi Opara brought his team back in the game. Friday headed home from close range to score the winner in the 82nd minute.
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Pune FC vs United Sikkim (3PM)
Air India vs Mohammedan Sporting (3PM)
Churchill Brothers vs Mohun Bagan (7PM)
Image: Action from the match between Mumbai FC and Shillong Lajong at Keenan Stadium
Photographs: AIFF Media