I-League 2023-24: TRAU FC trample Inter Kashi at home, earn first win
(Courtesy : I-League)
TRAU FC had lost seven of their last eight games in the league.
The result was akin to an oasis for the club from Manipur, who have travelled all the way to Kalyani to make it their home this season, after they managed a solitary draw and suffered seven defeats in their eight games preceding this match. Their poor form, however, means that they remain rooted to rock bottom on the table.
Determined to turn their fortunes around, the Red Pythons came out all guns blazing, as Danish Aribam gave them the lead in the ninth minute, while Deepak Singh doubled the advantage in the 22nd. Abraham Okyere’s 76th minute fireball of a strike only helped put the result beyond all doubt.
It was a moment of magic that seemed to raise TRAU out of their early season slumber, as Danish sold a dummy to Inter Kashi defender Lalruatthara, who had his heel dug into the Kalyani turf, attempting to keep the inside angle blocked. The 19-year-old quickly transferred the ball to his left and belted it in, beating Inter Kashi’s experienced keeper Arindam Bhattacharya at the near post.
The second goal also saw a moment of brilliance, albeit from the provider Robinson Singh, who nestled a perfect cross-field through ball into the path of a scampering Deepak on the right. The latter, on the move, laced his shot goalwards and the 33-year-old Bhattacharya was beaten at his near post once again, leaving the Inter Kashi camp shell-shocked.
It was a commendable comeback by Inter Kashi in the second half, at least in terms of mentality, as they shook off their own first-half slumber and tried to gain control of the match. They constantly maintained possession in the middle of the park and looked to overload the TRAU penalty area with bodies, as they sent in the deliveries from the wide areas.
They were, however, playing right into TRAU’s hands. The Manipur side dug in and waited for their chances, which hardly came at a premium. They exploited their place on the flanks, and the acres of space left by Inter Kashi; their reward, a three-goal cushion, came in the 76th minute through Abraham Okyere.
The Ghanaian sprinted past Bijoy VB, and squared it to Danish, who dribbled past seasoned campaigners Julen Perez and Peter Hartley, before sending it back to Okyere. It was a simple equation for the Ghanaian, who blasted it past Bhattacharya, albeit at the far post this time.
For a desperate Inter Kashi, the shoulders dropped and the height of their passes rose continually high into the Kalyani sky, which TRAU duly dealt with on their way to their first win of the I-League 2023-24 campaign.
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