AIFF Media Team
SHILLONG: As the 2017/18 U-18 Youth League final round gathers momentum; Bengaluru FC, Sudeva FC and Kerala Blasters established their intention of making it to the semifinals by winning their first matches of the campaign on Saturday (May 18, 2018) in Shillong.
Group A action in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium started with a one-sided contest, as Sudeva FC produced a ruthlessly efficient performance to blank Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1. Meanwhile, former champions Tata Football Academy and SAI Kolkata cancelled out each other in a goalless draw in the later contest.
In Group C, Bengaluru FC displayed their qualities by claiming a victory over DSK Shivajians at MFA Turf. That was followed by Kerala Blasters’ first win in the U-18 Youth League final round as they edged past Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools in a five-goal thriller.
Sudeva FC 3-1 Sporting Clube de Goa
After 30 minutes, the score in this game was 1-1 and it seemed possible that Sporting might prove an unexpectedly well-match opponent for Sudeva. Mohit Singh put Sudeva ahead in the 23rd minute which was cancelled out by Stendly Teotonio Fernandes four minutes later. However, Sudeva regained their lead through Letjakai Fimate in the 41st minute and the Delhi-based side never really looked back. Ginthenmang Baite put the game beyond Sporting’s reach in the 88th minute.
SAI Kolkata 0-0 Tata Football Academy
TFA dominated possession in the opening exchanges of the encounter and looked particularly threatening down the flanks, but were let down by the final ball in the area. SAI upped their efforts towards the later stages of the first-half and were unfortunate not to take the lead in the 42nd minute when Rohit Tigga’s volley went inches wide of the target and the two sides went into the half-time break, deadlocked at 0-0.
SAI continued to pile on the pressure early in the second-half and TFA needed goalkeeper Shiv Nandan Yadav to make a couple of brilliant saves to keep SAI attackers at bay. Towards the end, both teams traded a multitude of chances, though there were a few which stood out as great opportunities to take the lead as two sides played to a goalless stalemate.
DSK Shivajains 1-2 Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC took the lead in the 20th minute through Kishori only for Laldawngkima to restore the parity for DSK Shivajians in the 35th minute from the spot. However, Bengaluru FC skipper Biswa Darjee, who won the best U-18 Player of the Year award in Bengaluru FC Awards Night on yesterday, scored four minutes later to settle the issue for the Southern outfit.
Kerala Blasters 3-2 Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools
Kerala might have been expecting a challenge, but it was surely not expecting to be a goal down after just 6 minutes. BBFS scored first, thanks to Ankul Negi.
The lead did not last long as Pragyan Sundar Gogoi equalized in the 17th minute before Badusha TT put Kerala into the lead in the 29th minute. However, BBFS fought back in the closing stages of the first-half and equalized through Yash Sanjay Angre in the 40th minute. Nonetheless, Adarsh AS scored in the second-half stoppage time to ensure full three points for Kerala.