TAL Match Reports (Gameweek 1 Division 2)
Athlos United v C2 FC
Score: Athlos United (1) – (3) C2 FC
Scorers: Athlos United (Srinath TV 26’)
C2 FC (Eric N 13’, 37’; Ricardo Lawrence 36’)
Athlos United and C2FC’s clash marked the beginning of TAL’s 4th season at the all new FSV Arena. Athlos United had an impressive run during the TAL Cup making it all the way to the semifinals while C2FC, on the other hand, were making their TAL debut and were keen to impress on their first outing.
The match kicked off to a slow start with neither team able to make the most of their opportunities. Athlos, having created more opportunities seemed like they were in control but all those misses clearly frustrated them which caused some defensive lapses giving way for Eric N to put one past the keeper in the 13th minute of the game. Athlos was put into a tizzy trying to regain composure and found some hope in the 26th minute when Srinath TV scored from the spot.
The teams ended the first half level which made it anyone’s game at the start of the second half but the blow of the whistle saw C2 FC waste no time in making their mark and clearly whatever the coach said to them in the locker room worked because it wasn’t too long before Ricardo L broke the deadlock in the 36th minute and Eric N doubled the lead a minute later to put the match to rest securing all three points.
Man of the Match: Eric N (C2 FC)
Emdee Al-Fateh v FC Kudlu
Score: Emdee Al- Fateh (7) – (2) FC Kudlu
Scorers: Emdee Al- Fateh (Mani A 16’; Nihal Colaco 23’; Nikhil Das 31’,32’; Jencil Saj 40’ (OG), Johnathan Piers 54’,60’)
FC Kudlu (Mark Nghaite 8’,39’)
Emdee Al-Fateh put up a commendable performance in the Cup and went into this match as clear favourites but FC Kudlu being the most improved team in TAL were definitely not going down without a fight. Mark Nghaite opened the scoring in the 8th minute to put Kudlu ahead but just when things seemed to be going their way Mani A of Al-Fateh found the back of the net to even the score and minutes later Nihal Colaco scored a brilliant goal to put Al-Fateh in front going into the break.
Things took a dramatic turn after the half with Al-Fateh taking charge of the game thanks to a quick-fire brace from Nikhil Das. Mark Ngaithe scored another goal in the 39th minute in an attempt to get things rolling for Kudlu but things got excruciatingly worse for them when Jencil Saj deflected the ball into his own net followed by Johnathan Piers scoring two fantastic goals towards the dying stages of the game.
Man of the Match: Nikhildas KB (Emdee Al-Fateh)
FC Sparta v FC Brunton
Score FC Sparta (2) – (3) FC Brunton
Scorers: FC Sparta (Benjamin George 34’,36’)
FC Brunton (Mohit Ahuja 43’,Ankush B 49’,58’)
FC Brunton proved critics wrong when they made it to the quarter-finals in the cup but now with the league starting, they want to show that it wasn’t a one-time thing. Sparta, on the other hand, will look to build on their performance from last season and will be aiming to finish in a top three spot albeit it being a long shot.
The match kicked off and both teams seemed to be evenly matched with the ball staying in the middle for most of the first half, the opportunities were scarce and the game was well on its way to becoming a stalemate with the first half ending as a draw.
The second half, however, was the complete opposite of the first and was full of surprises. Sparta broke the deadlock when Benjamin George netted one 4 minutes after the whistle was blown and just 2 minutes later he scored another which gave Sparta a comfortable lead over their opposition but out of nowhere Mohit Ahuja scored in the 43rd minute keeping his team’s hopes alive.
It wasn’t until much later that Ankush B found the back of the net for the equaliser and Bruton were back in the mix of things. Just when the game seemed to be headed for a draw, Brunton showed how far they have come as a team and managed to find that extra oomph in their play to go on and find the winner through Ankush again with two minutes left to play. Sachit Sondhi deserves a special mention as he was instrumental in assisting all three goals.
Man of the Match: Sachit Sondhi (FC Brunton)
Garden Boys FC v BFE United
Score Garden Boys FC (4) – (0) BFE United
Scorers: Garden Boys FC (Mukundhan G 19’, Jitu B 34’, Siddharth Joshi 50’, 59’)
Garden Boys and BFE United faced off against each other in the group stages of the TAL Cup and both teams were evenly matched during their first ordeal with the scores all tied up at 1-1. Both teams were making their TAL debut and being the new teams on the block it was evident that they had much to prove to themselves as well as the other teams by establishing their names as fierce competitors.
The match kicked off and both teams were eager to bag the 3 points as well as the bragging rights for being the better team. In what seemed to be a struggle to find their rhythm, both teams were playing attacking football hoping to break the deadlock and it wasn’t until the 19th minute when Garden Boy Mukundhan edged one past the keeper putting his team in the lead for the rest of the half.
The second half made things worse for BFE with Jitu B scoring a goal 4 minutes after the whistle was blown. With the BFE morale throttled down, Garden Boys wasted no time in extending their lead thanks to a brace from Siddharth Joshi resulting in a very one sided score line which read 4-0 in favour of Garden Boys FC.
Man of the Match: Siddharth Joshi (Garden Boys FC)
Titans FC v Rebels FC
Score: Titans FC (5) – (0) Rebels FC
Scorers: Titans FC (Akshay Kukke 3’, Vyizgiro Amos 28’, Akshay Shettar 37’, 40’, Anirudh Krishnadas 57’)
This match looked like an evenly matched contest but Titans decided otherwise when they demolished Rebels in a five-star performance. Although Titans have lost a few players since last season, they seem to have found new found grit coming into this season and will be looking to improve on their third place finish last time around. Rebels are back in TAL after a two-season hiatus but being a completely revamped team, have a lot to figure out on the pitch.
The game began with Titans dominating possession of the ball and making quick use of it with Akshay Kukke dribbling past the Rebel’s defense with his quick feet and easily netting one past the keeper in the 3rd minute, the rest of the half presented Titans with many chances but they failed to capitalize until Vyizgiro Amos opened what can only be described as a flood gate by scoring in the 28th minute to end the first half after which Akshay Shettar scored two back to back goals in the 37th and 40th minute respectively to put the Rebels in an impossible to come back from spot.
The Rebels wanted nothing more than the final whistle to be blown so they could be put out of their misery but captain Anirudh KD had other plans as he sealed the deal with a splendid goal in the 57th minute giving Titans the much needed win as well as a healthy goal difference which will come into play later during the season.
Man of the Match: Akshay Kukke/Anirudh Krishnadas (Titans FC)
Diablos FC v Mercurial FC
Score: Diablos (1) – (2) Mercurial
Scorers: Mercurial FC (Ashish Mane 12’, Arun AV 57’)
Diablos FC (Rohan D 23’)
The game between Mercurial FC and Diablos FC had a very spine-tingling feel to it with both teams having their own independent styles of play and understanding of each other’s game. It was fair to assume from the get-go that this would be a hard fought battle with the possibility of a win pretty much up for grabs by either team. The match was hugely anticipated as it was the last game of the day and had the privilege of being played under the floodlights for the first time ever in TAL.
The match began with Mercurial FC going for an all-out attack putting their opponents on the defensive early on in the game, with Diablos trying to contain the game from within their half. A slip up was inevitable and Ashish Mane took full advantage of that scoring a simple yet effective goal to give his side the lead. The goal knocked some sense into Diablos and they started to make attacking plays which eventually paid off when Rohan D scored a spectacular goal to put things back to equilibrium before the whistle to signal the end of the first half.
The second half can only be described as a struggle of monumental proportions with both teams trying their best to do whatever it took to secure those all-important 3 points and just when things seemed like it would end in a stalemate Arun AV came to his side’s rescue by scoring in the 57th minute of the game giving Mercurial the win and much required points.
Man of the Match: Aashish Mane (Mercurial FC)