The month-long U-18 Y-League is now finally down to the wire as Kerala Blasters and Shillong Lajong got the better of their opponents in the Semi-Finals on Thursday to set up the final clash. Sportskeeda has a brief look at both the semi-finals.
SEMI-FINAL 1 : Kerala Blaster 2-1 Sports Authority of India (EZ)
Kerala Blasters made it to their maiden Youth League Final after they edged past SAI East Zone in the U-18 Y-League Semi-Final 1 Clash on Thursday.
The game was a cagey affair in the beginning with the ball largely moving about the midfield region. Gradually, the Young Blasters did take control of the game and took the lead in the 39th Minute through Abdullah KS. Injaman Molla of SAI East equalized a couple of minutes later to restore parity.
Abdullah KS scored again in the 50th minute to make it 2-1. The Blasters defence held on the opposition for the rest of the game to qualify for the Final.
SEMI-FINAL 2 : East Bengal 0-2 Shillong Lajong
Shillong Lajong used the home advantage to their benefit today as they blanked Title Favourites East Bengal 2-0 in the second semi-final today.
East Bengal got the game started and looked to be the better side. With quick one-touch play, crosses and dribbles, the Red and Gold Brigade were looking composed in the first half. East Bengal creating numerous goal-scoring opportunities in the first half but squandered each of them away.
In the second half, Shillong Lajong stepped onto the pitch with a purpose. Their sudden change of tactics created problems for the East Bengal defence. Lajong kept on building attacks from the left flank. Phrangki Buam opened the scoring in the 76th minute to put Lajong ahead.
Just as it looked that East Bengal would equalize, they were dealt a massive blow as they conceded a spot kick minutes before the full-time whistle. Phrangki Buam scored his second of the night in the 88th minute to put Lajong in the driver's seat.
East Bengal committed almost whole of their team to reduce the deficit in the final few minutes but in vain. The Lajong defence held them on until the final whistle.
Shillong Lajong will host Kerala Blasters in what would be another ISL v I-League clash in the U-18 Youth League final within few days. The dates and timings are yet to be announced.