The team from the north sit top of Group A after the first round of games…
Chandigarh breezed past Himachal Pradesh as they registered a comeback 4-1 win in the Santosh Trophy North Zone Qualifier match played at MLSL College Ground, Sundernagar Himachal Pradesh earlier today.
Chandigarh started the match on an attacking note and came up with a series of attacks in the first ten minutes. Chandigarh’s Akash tried to find Amandeep in the box but Himachal keeper Hari Haran collected it on time. A few minutes later, Chandigarh skipper Sahijpal tried his luck from distance but his shot went wide. At the other end, Himahal came up with two back-to-back attacks. First, Tenzin shot on goal but it was easily collected by keeper Harprit Pal. Later, Randeep Singh sent a sparkling shot on goal which was misjudged by keeper Harprit but defenders made no mistake to clear the same.
In the last few minutes of the first session, Chandigarh’s Girik came up with two perfect crosses in the box but first, Jatinder failed to connect his header from close range and later, Amandeep’s header sailed over the crossbar from six yards.
Himachal came out stronger on crossing over and scored the opener in the third minute of the second half. Tenzin easily tapped the ball home from point-blank range off Sunny Deol’s curling cross.
Chandigarh regrouped and made a quick attack on their opponents but Amandeep shot wide with only keeper Hari to beat. However, it was just a span of five minutes before Chandigarh scored the equaliser. Custodian Hari failed to collect a weak header from Girik, taking advantage of the same, Jatinder sent the ball home from close range and made it 1-1 for his side.
After scoring the equaliser, Chandigarh completely dominated the rest of the match and scored three more goals. First, Girik shot past Himachal keeper Hari from 18 yards and took Chandigarh into the lead. Girik was in the action again when he collected a through pass from Akash covered some ground and stylishly finished the ball into the back of the nylons. In the 90th minute, Amandeep’s sparkling long ranger had no answer from the Himachal shot-stopper and the ball finished in the net, making it 4-1 for the visitors.
In the day’s other match, Uttar Pradesh shocked Delhi as they registered a narrow 1-0 win over the capital side. The only goal of the match was scored by Sanjog Yadav in the 26th minute. After scoring the goal UP eased back and controlled the game, while Delhi tried hard to find the equaliser but their attacking line was not promising enough to get one.
After two matches in Group A, Chandigarh and UP have three points each but with a better goal difference Chandigarh sit top, while hosts Himachal are at the bottom of the table.
Report by Khel Now Correspondent Ravish Narvekar from Goa. A true Football enthusiast & a diehard Liverpool fan. Ravish also enjoys travelling & he’s an avid foodie.