Bodoland FC– 1 (Aidoo 90+11) Indian Army FT – 2 (Samir 6’ Suresh 90+4 (p))
Kokrajhar: Indian Army FT held on in a high intensity match that saw some injury time drama to beat local side Bodoland FC 2-1 to secure their second consecutive victory in a Group F fixture of the 132nd IndianOil Durand Cup played here at the SAI Stadium. Samir Murmu gave the lead for the Army side early in the first half while Suresh Meitei scored the decisive goal from the spot in the fourth minute of second half extra time. Joe Aidoo scored the consolation for the home side in the 11th minute of injury time. Indian Army’s captain and goalkeeper Bhabindra Thakuri was sent off for his second yellow card. Indian Army has six points from two matches after this victory while Bodoland are out of the race for a place in the knockouts after their second loss in the tournament.
All 43 games of the 132nd IndianOil Durand Cup are being telecast LIVE on Sony Sports Ten 2 channels as well as livestreamed on SonyLIV
Bodoland FC Head Coach Daimalu Basumatary made four changes to the starting lineup from his first match with Danswrand Basumatary, Cornelius Pudaite, Nicodim Narjary and Joseph Mayowa Olaleye coming in. Indian Army FT Head Coach L. Antony Ramesh made one forced change to his starting lineup as Liton Shil was suspended for his red card in the previous match. Alwin E started in his place.
It was the local side backed by a vociferous home crowd who were on the front foot from the start. They created the first scoring opportunity as Arjun Mardi’s looping cross found Joseph Olaleye but his header went wide. Indian Army made them pay for that miss by scoring on the other end. P. Christopher Kamei’s brilliant ball found Samir Murmu who ran free from the defence and headed past the Bodoland keeper. The Army side could have doubled the lead soon but Alwin’s effort was saved by Bodoland keeper Birkhang Daimary. Bodoland FC had a golden opportunity to equalize from a mistake by Zothanpuia. Nicodim Narjary took advantage of the defender’s slip and chipped past the Indian Army goalkeeper Bhabindra Thakuri to put the ball back off the post. Nicodim had another opportunity to score again in the half. The lively Arjun Mardi found Nicodim free inside the box but the forward scuffed his shot which went above the crossbar. Bodoland were creating the better chances in the half but their finishing was off the mark. Ansumana Kromah and Echezona Celestine’s efforts were straight at the Army goalkeeper. The home side had 62% of the ball in the half but were unable to find the equalizer as the Army side took their lead to the break.
After resumption, Indian Army had better control and possession of the ball. They defended deep and kept the ball, frustrating the Bodoland attackers. Bodoland were playing in the same pattern as they did in the first half but lacked the finishing touch inside the final third. Bodoland managed to put the ball inside the net twice but it was ruled out by the referee for an infringement on Army goalkeeper Bhabindra Thakuri. Bodoland coach brought in the changes to freshen up the attack for the home side. There was end to end football by both sides but without a goal to show for.
Injury Time Drama
Referee Pratik Mondal awarded ten minutes of extra time as there were multiple stoppages for injuries to the players. Army who were defending deep and playing on the counter attacks found the second goal in the fourth minute of injury time. Bikash Thapa’s solo run was stopped illegally by the Bodoland Captain Didwim Hazowary. Suresh Meitei converted the penalty sending the goalkeeper in the wrong way ensuring three points for Indian Army. But there was more action to come as Bodoland struck one back in the 11th minute of extra time through Joe Aidoo. His thumping header from a corner found the top corner of the goal. A frustrated Army captain and goalkeeper Bhabindra Thakuri kicked the ball away in frustration which led to him receiving a second booking and as a result being red carded. In the end Indian Army held on to their slender lead to secure their second consecutive victory of the tournament.
Indian Army will face Rajasthan United in their final group game while Bodoland FC will take on Odisha FC to complete the proceedings of Group F.
Southern Derby Tomorrow
The big southern derby between Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC will be played tomorrow at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan at 6 PM. Kerala Blasters had lost their first Group C game in the Kerala Derby against Gokulam Kerala. Bengaluru drew their first match against the Indian Air Force.
In the early kick off, Chennaiyin FC will face Delhi FC in Group E at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati at 3 PM.