Chandigarh, February 5
An injury-time goal by defender Sujit Sadhu denied RoundGlass Punjab FC (RGPFC) to bag three points against Sudeva Delhi FC in the ongoing I-League at the Chhatrasal Stadium, New Delhi. Luka Majcen scored for RGPFC in the 79th minute, while Sadhu cancelled the goal in the 94th minute.
With this draw, RGPFC remain second on the points’ table, below Sreenidi Deccan by virtue of goal differences. RGPFC coach Staikos Vergetis made three changes to the side from their last match by bringing in Aleksander Ignjatovic, Freddy Lallawmawma and Krishnananda Singh, instead of Chencho Gyeltshen, Ashis Pradhan and Suresh Meitei. Sudeva Delhi FC coach Sankarlal Chakraborthy fielded a strong line-up against the second placed team in the league.
The first half saw few chances created at either ends of the pitch. The best chance for RGPFC came early when a free kick by Ajay Chhetri landed right over the goal line. However, the shot was saved acrobatically by Sudeva keeper Priyant Singh. The rebound fell for Majcen, but his shot from close range came back of the post. Sudeva defence was also resilient against the attack of the away side. The hosts played in the counter against a strong RGPFC defence, but couldn’t create any clear-cut chance.
The second half also saw the lack of creativity from both sides with the teams unable to test their opposition goalkeepers. The match was going towards a draw when RGPFC coach introduced Gyleltshen in the place of Juan Mera.
The move turned out to be a turning point in the match as Chencho’s brilliance created the goal. He played a defence splitting pass for Majcen, who expertly finished between the legs of the Sudeva goalkeeper to score his ninth goal of the season.
After scoring, RGPFC tried to see off the game, but Sudeva attacked the RGPFC box in search of an equaliser. A corner in the last minute of injury time created panic in the RGPFC box and defender Sadhu, who had defended brilliantly, finished past Kiran Kumar Limbu to fine the equaliser and deny all three points for RGPFC.
Sadhu was named the Hero of the Match. RGPFC now have 31 points from 15 matches, while Sudeva Delhi FC have six points from 14 matches. RGPFC will face defending champions Gokulam Kerala FC on February 9 at EMS Stadium, Kozhikode (Kerala).