Samba FC v FC Bengal
Score: Samba FC (0) – (2) FC Bengal
Scorers: FC Bengal (Arjun Sehgal 4’, Adam B 27’)
Bengal picked up another three points this time against Samba in the early kick off in GW 3. Bengal opened the scoring early via Arjun Sehgal in the 4th minute with the winger finding his way into the box for an easy finish. The usual rock solid Samba defence was split open which forced them to rethink their game plan as they looked to find the equaliser.
Bengal took full advantage of the spaces that were opening up a converted one of those chances just before halftime when Adama doubled their lead. Samba FC came out of the break with a more attacking set up and would feel grieved that they weren’t awarded a penalty for a challenge on Sufiyan Ahmed. As the game wore on Bengal took on a defensive setup as they looked to wind the clock down.
Bengal have now won three in three and their first campaign in the top division is going smoothly but with tougher games ahead they will have to buckle down if they are to keep their place in the upper echelons of the division. Samba now have a win, draw and a loss in their first three games but the initial verdict on them is definitely positive and they are looking every bit a team who wants to be nowhere near the relegation zone come the end of season.
Man of the Match: Adam B (FC Bengal)
Yataghan Internazionale v FC Kougen Kikou
Score: Yataghan Internazionale (1) – (2) FC Kougen Kikou
Yataghan Internazionale (Hideki Zohzono (OG) 10’)
FC Kougen Kikou (Yasuhiro Nishino 37’, Takahisa Kiyone 49’)
Kougen Kikou picked up their first win of the season against expat rivals Yataghan in a topsy-turvy game. Yataghan went ahead in the 10th minute when an error in FCKK’s defence saw them concede the opener cheaply. Yataghan were once again set up well defensively and Kougen Kikou’s midfield could not find a way through in the first half.
The second half started similarly with Yataghan looking the stronger side but Yuichi Hirai and Yasuhiro Nishino started taking control of the midfield and eventually they found the equaliser through Nishi who scored in the 37th minute. As the game wore on Kougen Kikou started to look like the better side and that can be owed to their higher fitness levels than their opposition.
Takahisa Kiyone scored in the 49th minute to give FCKK the lead with the winger looking like his old self again. Yataghan would feel disappointed having not picked up any points from this game but will need to get right back up if they are to pick up that coveted top three spot. Kougen Kikou will have to maximise the strength they possess in midfield and base their strategy around that if they are to survive the top division this season.
Man of the Match: Yasuhiro Nishino (FC Kougen Kikou)
Rare Dare FC v Parikrma FC
Score: Rare Dare FC (0) – (1) Parikrma FC
Scorers: Parikrma FC (Sunil Manjunath 49’)
Defending champions Parikrma bagged another three points, this time against Rare Dare FC. Parikrma have been in sumptuous form scoring 9 goals in their previous outing against Mavericks and were looking to put their mark on the game but a resilient RDFC side were having none of it even though they were missing their centrepiece in Steven Harold due to suspension.
RDFC were set up extremely well in defence with captain Winston Miranda making sure the team plays to its strength and the strategy almost paid off but their lack of finesses in the final third proved costly. Parikrma were a little slow to get into the game but even after they started to string together passes they couldn’t knock down the RDFC wall which was getting plenty of support from their midfield.
Sunil Manjunath finally broke the deadlock with 10 minutes left to play and Parikrma were in the driver’ s seat albeit it being an uncomfortable one for the final minutes of the game. This win sees them maintain their 100% record and keep their title defence on track. Meanwhile, RDFC have fallen upon hard times and are still without a win but last season also saw them start the season off slowly before going on a massive run, something they need to emulate again if they are to survive in Division 1.
Man of the Match: Sunil Manjunath (Rare Dare FC)
Supernova FC v Mavericks FC
Score: Supernova FC (5) – (2) Mavericks FC
Supernova FC (James K 30’, 39’, 45’, 47’, Victor S 34’)
Mavericks FC (Abhishek YG 26’, Danush M 57’)
Supernova got back to winning ways when they beat Mavericks convincingly by a score line of 5-2. Last week, Supernova lost to title rivals Horizons and needed a win here to keep their title hopes alive but when Abhishek YG opened the scoring for Mavericks in the 26th minute, all those plans seemed to vanish into thin air. After the initial shock, they got back on their feet and luckily for them their main man James K helped equalise right at the end of the first half.
The second half was one-sided with Supernova stamping their mark on the game with their attacking prowess. James K was in the centre of the action and picked up three more goals to take his tally to four for the game. Victor also managed to get his name on the score-sheet while Prince was extremely efficient in midfield for them. Mavericks did pull back one more goal late in the game when Dhanush scored in the 57th minute but it was little too late for them to get back into the game.
Supernova have looked like title challengers in their first three games but whether they have enough depth for the whole season is something time will tell. Mavericks have been a much-improved squad since last season but they do need to find those points if they are to escape the clutches of relegation this time around.
Man of the Match: James K (Supernova FC)
Gremio FC v Flipkart FC
Score: Gremio FC (2) – (1) Flipkart FC
Scorers: Gremio FC (Monish M 18’, 21’), Flipkart FC (Abhay Raj 29’)
Gremio picked up their first win of the season against Flipkart FC in an evenly matched game that saw all goals come in the first half. Gremio were quick to get out on the attacking front with returning players Monish M and Danush D taking charge of the flanks but the Flipkart defence led by Tshering Yolmo held firm.
A slick move saw a pass played into the box and Monish M made no mistake in slotting home the opener to give Gremio the lead before Monish doubled Gremio’s lead three minutes later. Flipkart were put completely on the back foot after that but Abhay Raj managed to pull one back just before halftime to give them a lifeline. The second was scrappy with both teams failing to make any impact in the final third and the score line remained the same with Gremio emerging winners.
Flipkart have added some good players to their squad over the off-season but seem to be missing some oomph to get them across the line in each game. Their compact defence might be less efficient on the big pitch and they need to rethink their strategy so they use more width on the pitch. Gremio picked up a much-needed win that keeps their hopes of a top-three finish alive but any more complacency and they will be fighting for their lives in the red zone.
Man of the Match: Monish M (Gremio FC)
Horizons FC v Project 7
Score: Horizons FC (5) – (1) Project 7
Scorers: Horizons FC (Mamang Dimngel 3’, Saarang Ganapathi 6’, Chelston Pinto 18’, 49’, Philip Babalola 60’), Project 7 (Rahul Singh 46’)
Horizons FC picked up their third of the campaign and comfortably so against Project 7. Horizons have been in steamrolling form in the first three games and have scored 14 goals and look like prime contenders for the title that has eluded them for two seasons. Project 7 have played good football but have come against tough opposition in their first three games and have picked one point in three games.
The game was thrown wide open from the get go with Mamang Dimngel opening the scoring in the 3rd minute and Saarang Ganapathi doubled their lead three minutes after that. With Project 7 already two goals down they had to rethink their game plan but that didn’t bode well for them and they conceded a third before halftime. Chelston Pinto put in a balanced effort in defence and attack to pick up the man of the match award and was at the centre of everything.
Saarang Ganapathi also had a good game but was nullified in the second half thanks to some basketball like marking from Project 7. The usual culprits Barry Anand and AD Kumar were solid in the wing back positions giving support in attack and tracking back on defence.
Project 7 pulled back one goal in the second half via Rahul Singh but that went to waste with Chelston immediately scoring to restore a comfortable lead to Horizons. Project 7 have played good football in their first three games and have been unlucky not to have more points to their name but if they continue the same way the results will fall their way.
Horizons look like a team possessed to swat aside opposition teams but they do have a reputation of getting complacent when it matters, something they need to watch out for as the season slowly approaches the midway mark.
Man of the Match: Chelston Pinto (Horizons FC)