TAL Match Reports (Gameweek 1 Division 1)
FC Bengal v Yataghan Internazionale
Score: FC Bengal (2) – (1) Yataghan Internazionale
Scorers: FC Bengal (Anto Rushith 6’,34’)
Yataghan Internazionale (Tapi Richo 29’)
Bengal started off their first ever campaign in the top division with a win over Yataghan but had to fight tooth and nail to secure all three points. Bengal took some time to get used to the ‘big pitch’ but once they settled in, they showed their strength.
Off-season acquisitions Ravinder Singh and Anto Rushith played a major role as Bengal took the game to Yataghan but the latter showed composure after going down early to find the equalizer from an excellent move that saw Jay Singadia find Tapi Richo in the box who slotted the ball home coolly.
The second half was played at a much more slow tempo as teams settled in and moved the ball along waiting patiently for an opening and once again Anto Rushith was the man of the hour as grabbed his second for the day. Yataghan fought back vigorously and had a few set piece situations but they failed to take advantage of their attacks and in the end succumbed to a loss in their first game.
Bengal picked up all three points in their opening game but will find it tough against the top dogs especially ones with experience like Yataghan.
Man of the Match: Anto Rushith (FC Bengal)
Horizons FC v FC Kougen Kikou
Score: Horizons FC (6) – (0) FC Kougen Kikou
Scorers: Horizons FC (Akshay Rawat , Magesh D, Sushruth Gopal, Philip Babalola)
Horizons FC continued their fine form from the cup scoring six past a hapless Kougen Kikou side. New signings Akshay Rawat made an immediate impact opening the scoring for Horizons before Magesh doubled their lead a minute later.
Kougen Kikou have lost some important players over the break and now look like a shell of the team that took part in TAL Season 2. Only captain Yasuhiro Nishino looked up for the challenge and will not be pep up his team before the next game.
Horizons forwards Sushruth Gopal and Philip Babalola picked up braces in the second half to accentuate the score line and send Horizons to the top of the table on goal difference. Former Gremio player Magesh looks to be the signing of the summer and his presence in midfield gives Horizons strength, composure and attacking prowess.
Navneeth Chamber looks like a good addition to Horizons with the keeper constantly making sure (verbally) his teammates are in the right position.
Man of the Match: Magesh D (Horizons FC)
Gremio FC v Samba FC
Score: Gremio FC (0) – (3) Samba FC
Scorers: Samba FC (Suifyan Ahmed 6’, 37’, 54’)
Samba FC put their mark on the season as they humbled Gremio FC 3-0 in what was probably the upset of the day. Sufiyan Ahmed was brilliant in attack for Samba and picked up the first hat trick of TAL Season 4. Gremio, a former powerhouse in TAL seem to be a shell of their former selves and if the first game is an indication of things to come, they will probably be fighting the relegation battle come season end.
Samba, on the other hand, seem to have found good balance between attack and defence, something that’s been missing in previous seasons. Their defence was compact as usual and repelled Gremio’s attacks as though it was a practice session while their positioning to hit on the counter was well rehearsed.
Gremio looked badly out of form and were clueless about how to connect play from defence to attack and paid the price for it but with only one game gone, they still have time to turn it around.
Man of the Match: Sufiyan Ahmed (Samba FC)
Supernova FC v Project 7
Score: Supernova FC (5) – (1) Project 7
Scorers: Supernova FC (Mani A 2’, Victor S 8’, 37’; James S 35’, 47’)
Project 7 (Rajath Gowda 47’)
Supernova started their campaign with a big win over Project 7, a game many expected to be much closer. A revamped Supernova attack was deadly with Mani, Victor and James all getting on the scoresheet.
James and Victor on the wings are something to watch out for this season, as they look potent on the big pitch. Project 7, on the other hand, looked deflated as soon as they conceded in the 2nd minute of the game and never really got into the mix of things.
Supernova mainstay Adrian Silvester was once again a rock at the back and ensured Rahul Singh and Arpan Roy of Project 7 were kept at bay. Prince looks like a good addition in midfield while Tejas Muralidhara was good between the posts.
New Project 7 signings Solomon Alva and Puneeth Gowda look like a good addition but they will still need time to adjust to their new teammates. Overall things look bright for Supernova while Project 7 need some tinkering to be done.
Man of the Match: James S (Supernova FC)
Rare Dare FC v Mavericks FC
Score: Rare Dare FC (2) – (2) Mavericks FC
Scorers: Rare Dare FC (Steven Harold 17’; Nikhil Labhswetwar 27’)
Mavericks FC (Edwin KS 24’; Winston Verghese 45’)
The penultimate game of the day saw the only draw in 12 matches from the weekend as Rare Dare FC and Mavericks FC shared the spoils. RDFC started off as the better team with captain Steven Harold dictating play from midfield and they were duly rewarded with a goal in the 17th minute.
Instead of buckling down after that, Mavericks found themselves as a team and equalized 7 minutes later thanks to a goal from new addition Edwin KS.
RDFC almost immediately responded again when Nikhil L found the back of the net to put his team ahead going into the break. Mavericks changed things up at half-time and their strategy worked as they looked like the better team coming out of the half but as things settled down it looked like RDFC had done enough to claim all three points but Mavericks had other plans and when Winston Verghese scored the equalizer in the 45th minute the tide had changed and RDFC were on the back foot.
RDFC did recover and went on full throttle but the Mavericks experienced defensive back four held on for a deserved point.
Man of the Match: Steven Harold (Rare Dare FC)
Flipkart FC v Parikrma FC
Score: Flipkart FC (1) – (3) Parikrma FC
Scorers: Flipkart FC (Pavan Powar 30’)
Parikrma FC (Appu J 26’, 60’; Saravana S 34’)
The final game of the day had defending champions Parikrma FC taking on Flipkart FC and it turned out to be an excellent match with Parikrma emerging winners. Last season we saw Parikrma edge out Flipkart via a final minute winner in controversial circumstance and Flipkart looked like they had come out seeking revenge.
The game was tight in the initial stages with both teams set up well defensively and just when the game seemed like it was headed into halftime goalless Appu J broke the deadlock for Parikrma but not to be outdone Flipkart responded well and star striker Pavan Powar found the equalizer at the stroke of halftime.
Parikrma came out all guns blazing in the second half and midfield maestro Saravana S found the back of the net to restore their lead. Flipkart fought well for the rest of the game and would feel they deserved a draw but Appu bagged his second of the night in the dying embers of the game to secure all three points for the defending champions.
Man of the Match: Nikhil Gopal (Parikrma FC)