TAL Delhi Match Reports: Gameweek 1 Division 1
Storm and Dwarka pick up important wins, Phoenix stun Wishwa Kings and Highflyers and Q Squad played out a draw.
Q Squad v Highflyers FC
Score: Q Squad (1) - (1) Highflyers FC
Q Squad (Madhav Saigal 55’)
Highflyers FC (Francesco Tills (OG ) 3’)
A late equaliser by Madhav Saigal in the 55ht minute ensured Q Squad took away at least a point from their opening game against Highflyers FC. The teams had met before in the pre-season friendlies with Q Squad winning that game 2-0 but as is in football, when things get serious, the competition becomes tougher.
A defensive mix up in the box by the Q Squad keeper led to an own goal being conceded by Francesco Tills giving Highflyers an early advantage. Highflyers compact gameplan worked after that and their defence stood firm thwarting away Q Squad’s attack while they created lots of chances on their own, especially Rajat who was in fine form.
For Q Squad Prithviraj and Madhav Saigal played well with the latter grabbing the all-important equaliser in the 55th minute.
For Highlflyers, Vandit Malhotra put in a man of the match performance in defence and helped his side almost pick up the win but a lack of concentration towards the end of the game ended those hopes. Q Squad played well but could not find any finesses in the final third leading them to share the spoils with their opposition at the end of the day.
Man of the Match: Vandit Malhotra (Highflyers FC)
Sen Q v Dwarka FC
Score: Sen Q (1) – (3) Dwarka FC
Sen Q (Bawa Karan 39’)
Dwarka FC ( Nikhil Gahlot 51’, Ishwar Singh 53’,58’)
Dwarka FC turned the game on its head in the final 10 minutes of the game to complete a come from behind win against Sen Q. The first was half was a little scrappy with both teams taking time to get into the mix of things but credit must be given to the Sen Q defence which was outstanding in the first half holding back the potent attack force of Dwarka FC.
The first goal of the game came in the second half and against the run of play Sen Q ended up taking the lead. Bawa Karan scored in the 39th minute to give Sen Q the lead and it seemed they were destined for an improbable win but Dwarka FC fought back well to equalise in the 51st minute via Nikhil Gahlot.
Things went downhill for Sen Q after that and the lapse in concentration from their defence saw them concede two late goals to their opponent thereby losing the match. Dwarka made a genius tactical change in the final quarter of the game, bringing on Ishwar Singh who ended up scoring the second and third goals for Dwarka handing them the win.
Suraj of Sen Q played well in an attacking midfield role and was the focal point of play while playing out from defence. Sen Q played well against tough opponents and look like a team who are bound to improve game on game.
Dwarka FC look like early contenders for the title or atleast one of the top two spots although it might be too early to be making such predictions.
Man of the Match: Ishwar Singh (Dwarka FC)
Delhi Students FC v Storm FC
Score: Delhi Students FC (1)- (2) Storm FC
Delhi Students FC (Naman Malhotra 42’)
Storm FC (G King 1’, Tushar Walia 5’)
Two early goals were enough to see Storm past Delhi Students FC in GW 1 of TAL Delhi Season 2. G King opened the scoring for Storm in the first minute itself catching Delhi Students off guard. The second goal was scored four minutes later to hand Storm a two-goal lead within five minutes of the start, which gave Delhi Students an uphill task.
Delhi Students fought their way back into the game but Storm had enough in them to hold on to their two-goal lead. Things got interesting in the 42nd minute when DSFC did pull back one goal through Naman Malhotra to ensure the final quarter of the game was intense.
Both teams’ keepers had integral roles to play and made a couple of saves each to keep their sides in the game. For DSFC, Rohit and Utkarsh were outstanding in midfield and helped in keeping their side from conceding as well as connecting play from defence to attack.
Paras Wadhwa of Storm FC earned the man of the match plaudits after his attacking contribution for Storm FC. Both of the goals for Storm were created by the playmaker and his creativity in attack was enough to see his side through.
DSFC may have taken their opponents in a light manner in the first quarter of the game and eventually ended up paying the price for their complacency. Both teams look strong contenders for the title even though it’s early in the season. But given how other teams have played on the opening weekend, we might be in for an exciting and highly competitive season.
Man of the Match: Paras Wadhwa (Storm FC)
Phoenix FC v Wishwa Kings
Score: Phoenix FC (2) – (0) Wishwa Kings
Phoenix FC (Himanshu Bhatt 10’, Kouame Konan Serge 44’)
The final game of the day saw Phoenix cause a big upset against one of the title favourites Wishwa Kings. Phoenix have turned out to be the surprise package of the opening gameweek and seem a completely different squad to the one that took part in the opening day of friendlies on February 11.
They have made some excellent additions over the past few weeks to give them a fighting chance for a top three finish.
Himanshu Bhatt opened the scoring in the 10th minute to hand his side an unlikely lead and with the help of Senan Singh Mathija and goalkeeper Christopher Zion, they managed to keep a clean sheet for the game as well. Senan’s addition in defence has turned out to be a masterstroke while Zion made some extremely crucial saves to make sure his team picked up all three points.
For Wishwa Kings Sanjay Basliyal was good in midfield and helped create chances but they lacked finesse in the final third and they paid the price for it. Prince Anthony in goal made some saves to help keep his side in the game.
Kouame Serge picked up the second goal for Phoenix in the 44th minute to all but seal the deal for his side. The forward was excellent throughout the game and contributed an assist as well. Arnaud in midfield was also excellent and was the motor in the middle, tirelessly running around the whole game.
Wishwa Kings need to revisit their strategy if they are to turn things around quickly.
Man of the Match: Kouame Konan Serge (Phoenix FC)