Friday, Feb 03, 2023

I League: Mohammedan start with win, Aizawl lose to Real Kashmir

In the first match of the day, a sensational hat-trick on debut from Spanish striker Sergio Mendiguchia powered Neroca FC to a 3-2 victory over I-League newcomers Sreenidi Deccan.

Glimpses from I-League matchday 2 (Twitter/I-League)

Mohammedan SC defeated Sudeva Delhi FC 2-1 in an I-League match here on Monday to log home its first points.

The Black Panthers maintained the ball possession in the opening play and started to create chances early on. Sudeva looked solid on the other side but the pressure was piling on.

Sudeva Delhi were broken early on as SK Faiaz opened the scoring for Mohammedan in the 13th minute. He got on the end of a wonderful cross from captain Nikola Stojanovic to take the lead in the first 15 minutes.

Goalscorer Faiaz received a yellow card in the 20th minute for simulation.

The second half began in the same manner, as Mohammedan pressing high while Sudeva Delhi being under the pump.

Another goal came for the Black Panthers in the 53rd minute as midfielder Brandon Vanlalremidka lifted it forward for Joseph who played it to Mallick.

Mallick, in turn, passed it back to Joseph whose thunderbolt from the edge of the box to score a fantastic goal in the top-left corner for the Black Panthers, extending the lead to 2-0.


Abhijit Sarkar pulled one back in the dying moments of the match.

Tiago Adan’s brace propels Real Kashmir to 3-2 win over Aizawl FC

Tiago Adan and Mason Robertson found themselves on target as a determined Real Kashmir eked out a thrilling 3-2 win over Aizawl FC in their first game of the I-League 2021/22 season here on Monday.

While Tiago scored a brace in the match, Robertson scored the crucial third goal for the Snow Leopards in the second half. Aizawl FC did well to lead in possession stats, and remained in contest till the final whistle.


Ayush Chhetri got the first shot of the match away in the 7th minute of play after he received a pass from a corner. But his long-range hit went wide off the target.

Two minutes later, Real Kashmir received a corner of their own and Surchandra Singh sent the ball straight into the box, which was headed in to the back of the net by striker Tiago Adan to give the Snow Leopards a 1-0 lead in the 9th minute.

Aizawl FC continued to enjoy the possession as the first half progressed but could create very little chances.

Aizawl FC received their second corner in the 29th minute, but the long-range shot from skipper R Malsawmtluanga went awry and the opportunity was missed.

Nearly 10 minutes later, Aizawl FC received their third corner, and this time, Lalthakima Ralte latched on to the cross with a direct header and scored the equaliser in the 38th minute to make it 1-1.

Unfortunately for Aizawl FC, Real Kashmir’s Tiago restored the lead in the additional minutes of the first half. A corner from Surchandra reached Mason, but his shot was parried away by the goalkeeper Lalmuansanga to Tiago, who latched on the rebound and struck it in to make it 2-1 as the first half came to a close.

The second half started with Aizawl continuing to keep the possession and searching for the equaliser.


In the 66th minute, Robertson got the third goal for Real Kashmir as he managed to get a header on the ball on a cross by Thoi Singh from the left flank. The ball went into the net and Real Kashmir went 3-1 up.

Just when it looked like Real Kashmir would run away with the win, a twist came in the 85th minute with Ramhlunchhunga scoring a goal with a shot from outside the box to reduce the deficit.


Tiago Adnan, who was the star performer for Real Kashmir, was stretchered off with three minutes remaining in the match.

Five additional minutes were added to the game and Real Kashmir comfortably defended the incessant attacks from Aizawl FC in the injury time.


Sergio Mendi hat-trick leads Neroca to 3-2 win over Sreenidi Deccan

A sensational hat-trick on debut from Spanish striker Sergio Mendiguchia powered Neroca FC to a 3-2 victory over I-League newcomers Sreenidi Deccan at the Naihati Stadium here on Monday.

Girik Khosla and David Castenada Munoz got on the score sheet for Sreenidi Deccan, but the odd goal fell Neroca FC’s way to give the side from Manipur all three points in this clash.

After a scrappy start to the proceedings, Neroca FC were the first side to make headway in the contest as they broke the deadlock in the 15th minute through new signing Mendi.

As his fellow new Spanish recruit Juan Mera chipped in a free kick from a central position, Mendi came alive in the box as he brought down the ball with his chest and bundled it home from close range after Sreenidi goalkeeper Ubaid CK made the save at the first time of asking.

The Spanish duo of Mendi and Mera combined again from a set piece to devastating effect in the 22nd minute. Standing over a free kick from a wider position this time, set piece specialist Mera whipped in a fantastically shaped flat delivery into the box which was promptly nodded home by striker Mendi for his second goal of the game.

The goal sparked wild celebrations among the Neroca outfit which rejoiced the striker’s brace.

Already two goals behind, Sreenidi Deccan were looking to avoid conceding further, as Neroca hunted for more goals.

In the 41st minute, Girik Khosla was on hand to reduce the arrears for Sreenidi Deccan. Sriram channelled a brilliant pass into the box for Phalguni Singh, who raced on to the ball to produce a fantastic square pass for teammate Khosla at the far post, who tapped the ball in with the goalkeeper taken out of the equation with the pass.

Sreenidi Deccan had a glorious chance right before the break to go into half time on level terms, but goalkeeper Shubham Dhas made a solid double save to keep Neroca’s lead intact.

After the break, Mendi made it a dream debut in Indian football in the 49th minute, completing a fine hat-trick by scoring with his right foot, head and left foot respectively.

The Spanish striker doubled his side’s advantage again with his best goal of the lot.

Goalkeeper Ubaid rushed out from his goal line hoping to clear the ball, but he was beaten to it by Mendi, who caught the keeper stranded in no man’s land and lifted the ball over him from 20 yards out.

The enthralling match saw another twist in the tale in the 59th minute. Colombian striker David Castaneda Munoz announced his arrival into the I-League this time with a perfectly executed header.

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First published on: 27-12-2021 at 22:21 IST
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