Life in top-flight domestic football began on a promising note for Indian Arrows as they relied on Aniket Anil Jadhav’s brace to blank Chennai City FC 3-0 in the I-League here today.
A team comprising the best players from India’s U-17 and U-19 pool, Indian Arrows scored their first goal through Aniket in the 20th minute and doubled the lead when the striker found the net in the 58th minute.
Defender Boris Singh Thangjam, who, like Aniket, was also a part of India’s U-17 FIFA World Cup side, added to the tally by scoring in the 90th minute.
While coach Luis Norton de Matos has called for patience, asking fans to not expect miracles from this young bunch, the team has shown it can certainly punch above its weight.
Chennai City FC had their share of exchanges and scoring chances but failed to capitalise. Jean Michael Joachim was their main culprit as he missed a couple of easy chances.
Even as Chennai City FC tried to control proceedings initially, the Indian colts looked more energetic, coming up with speedy moves from the flanks that caught the rival defence napping.
For the first goal, Boris initiated the move from his half and relayed the ball to Rahul Kannooly on the right, and the latter sent in a cross inside the box for Aniket to unleash a powerful shot that found the roof of the net.
Indian Arrows could have doubled the lead eight minutes latter but Edmund Lalrindika saw his attempt hit the right post.
Jean Michael had the best chance to restore parity a minute before half time when Charles Anand Raj Lourdus from the middle split the Indian Arrows defense and sent in a through. Jean Michael, who had only the goalkeeper to beat, failed to do so.
In search of an equaliser, the visitors showed urgency after the change of ends, but the Indian Arrows defence was upto the task.
Arrows came up with a counter move which saw Edmund Lalrindika latching on a long ball before squaring it for Aniket, who shot home with ease to make it 2-0.
Had it not been for Chennai City FC goalkeeper Uros Poljanec’s effort in the 72nd minute to deny the impressive Lalrindika, the margin of defeat would have been even bigger.
Boris rounded off the tally after a quick build-up from the right.
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