Titans FC v FC Kudlu
Score: Titans FC (2) – (2) FC Kudlu
Titans FC (Rishi Pawan 29’, 59’)
FC Kudlu (Juwel Jose 23’, Vivek K 30’)
Titans and Kudlu played out a 2-2 draw with Titans scoring a late equaliser with a minute left to play. Kudlu started the match as the better team and were unlucky not to go ahead in the opening minutes but Titans found their game soon and both teams were going toe to toe until Juwel Jose opened the scoring in the 23rd minute for Kudlu to break the deadlock.
Titans struck back in the 29th minute when Rishi Pawan found the back of the net but were pegged back almost immediately when Vivek K restored Kudlu’s lead at the whistle for halftime. Anirush Krishnadas came on as a substitute to turn things around for Titans and although their general play was better they could not find a way to get past the Kudlu defence who shut up shop. Yash Hemdev was effective going forward for Titans but they were lacking a solid presence up front and definitely felt Akshay Kukke’s absence.
However, Titans managed to find the equaliser at the death when Akshay Shettar’s shot found itself into the back of the net. Kudlu would feel they deserved the win for strategically outplaying Titans but should feel happy with a point. Titans have now lost ground at the top to C2 FC and Al-Fateh and any more dropped points could mean the end of their title challenge but with a break coming up they have 2 weeks to plan their next outing.
Man of the Match: Akshay Shettar (Titans FC)
BFE United v C2 FC
Score: BFE United (0) – (3) C2 FC
Scorers: C2 FC (Franck C 2’, Aashish 36’, Arjun C 60’)
C2 FC claimed the top spot in the table after their win over BFE United. Earlier in the day Titans had lost to Kudlu so, C2 FC knew a win here would send them top and with the knowledge they started the game with an attacking mentality from the outset. They were duly rewarded in the 2nd minute when Franck C opened the scoring for them. Although they were missing their main man Eric, the rest of the team played went about their business and stamped their mark on the game.
BFE United are still without a point to their name but have shown vast amounts of improvement in their game and a win looks to be just around the corner. Praney Thapa once again started in goal and the more time he spends there the more they are missing him in midfield where he can control play. Credit must be given the backline again as they impressed and kept C2 to only one goal going into the break.
The second half was all C2 with Aashish continuing his goalscoring form and doubling their lead. With a two-goal margin at hand, C2 slowed down things to make sure no points were lost. Arjun added a third in the dying minutes of the game to distort BFE’s efforts and they ended up winning the game 3-0.
C2 FC are in prime position to grab one of the three promotion spots but the title will be the aim. BFE United need to continue doing what they are doing and maybe strengthen their squad in a couple of areas starting with their forward line.
Man of the Match: Franck C (C2 FC)
Rebels FC v FC Sparta
Score: Rebels FC (1) – (0) FC Sparta
Scorers: Rebels FC (Elizer Bareh 49’)
An evenly matched contest was decided by a solitary goal scored by Elizer Bareh handing Rebels all three points. Rebels were missing Riva Edjique in the starting lineup and their first half play showed exactly that. With Elizer Bareh left to handle things alone up front, the strong Spartan defence held off Rebels’ attacks as the game headed into halftime goalless.
Sparta failed to make use of the chances they were presented with and they paid the price for it in the second half. The introduction of Riva in the second half freed up space for Elizer on the flanks and the winger looked more threatening. The Spartan defence led by Sushanth Gopalakrishna and Sandeep Joel looked extremely strong as they thwarted away attack after attack with support from their goalkeeper Binu NP.
However, just when the game seemed to be heading for a draw, Elizer rose to the occasion and slotted home the only goal of the game.
Credit must be given to the Rebels defence especially Vijay R who ensured Sparta never got into any dangerous attacking positions. Rebels are now in an upward trajectory in the table and their top three hopes seem to be well and alive. Sparta have been playing well but the results haven’t been falling their way and late defensive collapses have been plaguing them, something they need to sort out right away or it could be dangerous come end of season.
Man of the Match: Vijay R (Rebels FC)
Emdee Al-Fateh v FC Brunton
Score: Emdee Al-Fateh (4) – (0) FC Brunton
Scorers: Emdee Al-Fateh (Zaib Sherief 16’, 26’, 60’, Tariq Sheriff 20’)
Al-Fateh brushed aside Brunton with ease in their 4-0 win over them with Al-Fateh captain Zaib Sherief grabbing a hat trick. Brunton’s form has gone downhill since their comeback win against Sparta in the opening gameweek, and they need to turn things around quickly if they are to escape the red zone. Al-Fateh cannot afford to drop any points as they keep pace with league leaders C2 FC and Titans in the rush for a top three spot.
Brunton’s defence held firm for the first quarter of the game before Zaib managed to find his way into their box to open the scoring in the 16th minute. Tariq Sheriff doubled their lead in the 20th minute with the right back looking extremely comfortable on both ends of the pitch. Zaib picked up his second for the day shortly after to provide a comfortable 3 goal cushion going into halftime.
Brunton were much better coming out of halftime as they made the defence more compact. Al-Fateh were in no hurry to rush things up and moved the ball around from end to end before Zaib grabbed his hat-trick in the final minute of play.
With a break this week for Division 2, Brunton need to re-strategize their tactics and how they communicate on the pitch. Al-Fateh are currently in second position and their loss against C2 FC might prove costly come end of season but with another 7 games still left to play they will be waiting to take advantage of any slips ups from C2 FC and Titans.
Man of the Match: Zaib Sherief (Emdee Al-Fateh)
Garden Boys FC v Diablos FC
Score: Garden Boys FC (0) – (2) Diablos FC
Scorers: Diablos FC (Raihaan Ponnappa 18’, John Kunnath 29’)
Diablos picked up a much-needed win against Garden Boys to ignite their campaign. Diablos have had a roller coaster start to the season but still find themselves in a position to grab on to one of the promotion spots which have been elusive to them over the past two seasons; always missing out by the closest of margins. Raihaan Ponnappa was back in the starting lineup for Diablos and a goalkeeper mistake saw him head in the opening goal of the game in the 18th minute.
Diablos looked completely in control of the game from the get go and doubled their lead just before halftime when John Kunnath found the back of the net in the 29th minute. Garden Boys have also had a roller coaster ride this season winning one game and then losing the next. Captain Saanand Warrier and Vishnu Nambiar were back in the starting lineup for Garden Boys but their attack failed to click or to justly give credit to the Diablos defence they were stifled by their opposition.
Chirag Patel was solid in defence for Diablos while Siddharth Mandana was full of energy helping out on the flanks. Diablos keeper Avinash Kumar was in fine form making some extremely important saves on his way to a clean sheet and the man of the match award. Garden Boys need to find some consistency in their gameplay if they are to stay out of the red zone. And with some tough fixtures ahead of them, they will have to bring their ‘A’ game.
Man of the Match: Avinash Kumar (Diablos FC)
Athlos United v Mercurial FC
Score: Athlos United (3) – (0) Mercurial FC
Scorers: Athlos United (Clivert Martis 20’, Sabarish Kannan 44’, Ashish Dhiman 58’)
Athlos United helped themselves to three points against Mercurial FC in what turned out to be a one-sided affair. Clivert Martis opened the scoring in the 20th minute and there was no looking back from there on as Athlos almost seemed to be in cruise control throughout despite the slender lead. Mercurial FC ‘s form has gone down a notch since their opening day victory over Diablos and hopes of returning to Division 1 are looking slim day by day.
The second half began with Athlos playing an extremely calm and composed game and they doubled their lead when Sabarish Kannan scored in the 44th minute. Ashish Dhiman made it three in the 58th minute to put the game to bed with Athlos picking up three important points. Athlos also seemed to have sorted their leaky defence and Arshaque’s move to right back has been important. Mercurial now face an upward challenge in their bid to even stay in division 2 and they need to turn things around starting with finding a good striker.
Few notable names that need to be mentioned are Anup Nair who has been phenomenal in modified for Athlos and Mohsin Madanani who has been a rock in defence. This game even saw Midhun Nair dawn the goalkeeping outfit with both their keepers unavailable. Overall things are looking up for a resurgent Athlos side who still have hopes of a top three finish.
Man of the Match: Clivert Martis (Athlos United)