Futsal Club Championship 2024
Minerva and Golazo maintain red-hot form, Ambelim notch crucial win
28 Jun 2024

AIFF Media Team

 Defending champions Minerva Academy FC were confirmed as group B toppers, while Golazo put 12 past former champions Delhi FC in an action-packed matchday of the AIFF Futsal Club Championship 2023-24 at the Swarnim Gujarat Sports University in the Vadodara district of Gujarat on Friday, June 28, 2024.

Minerva storm into quarter-finals as Group B toppers

Minerva Academy FC made it four wins in four to confirm the top spot in Group B after drubbing Bangalore Arrows FC 8-1. It was the latter who took the surprise lead in the fourth minute as Narendra Prasad Vincent Mari laid it perfectly for Nikhil Ayyappa Nunna, who tapped in from point-blank range. But the defending champions finally clicked into gear in the 12th minute when Himanshu Thapa lodged it into the roof of the net for the equaliser.

That goal opened the floodgates as Minerva went on a scoring spree in the final few minutes of the first half to take a 4-1 lead. Samson Keishing seized on a miscontrolled ball by goalkeeper Abhishek Ramesh and slotted it into the open net. Keishing doubled the lead in the very next minute, finding the bottom corner after a brilliant one-two with Himanshu Jangra. And 16 seconds before the half-time whistle, Andrew Wengipreye's powerful strike deflected into the back of the net. The goal rush continued after the restart as Keishing completed his hat-trick, Lalremruata benefitted from a defensive mishap and Thongkhongmayum Naoba added a brace to cap off the 8-1 victory for Minerva.

Ambelim bag narrow win over Thyristor

Ambelim SC went top of Group C with a 4-2 win over FC Thyristor, Ramhlun Vengai, who were dealt their first loss of the tournament. After 15 minutes of deadlock, the Mizo side took the lead as Peter Lalrinhlua finished off a cutback. However, Ambelim scored two quickfire goals in the 19th minute to turn the game around - first Ronaldo Rosebud Pereira squeezed it in from a narrow angle before Michael Silva took advantage of a defensive error and swept home.

Ronaldo added another 10 minutes into the second half, rolling a first-time shot into the bottom corner. And although Lalrinhlua pulled one back with a thumping finish in the 35th minute, Fredsan Marshall's goal on a counter-attack in the next minute wrapped up all three points for the Goan side. Ambelim have now played all four of their matches and are on top with nine points, while Thyristor slipped to second place with six points from three games.

Golazo steamroll former champions

Golazo FC flexed their muscles in an 12-0 demolition of 2021-22 champions Delhi FC to make it two wins in two in Group D. It took the Himachal Pradesh side just three minutes to open the scoring via their dynamic forward Stephen Satarkar. In the 10th minute, Shabaz Rogangar drilled it in on the turn before Clinton Rosario D'Souza squeezed in from close range in the 14th. Then it was Lalsangkima's turn to go on a solo run and blast it past Atou B Sumi in the Delhi goal. Satarkar and Shubham Potghan added two more for Golazo to take a 6-0 lead at half-time.

The second half belonged to Lalsangkima as he went on a spree, scoring three more goals of a solo nature in the 22nd, 30th and 32nd minutes. Eshaan also joined the party with a deft finish in the 25th minute, while Clinton scored his second in the 38th. Satarkar, who scored the first also closed the scoring, completing his hat-trick in the 40th minute to end it 12-0.

Nyenshen end campaign on a high

After losing their first three games, Nyenshen FC were able to end their Group A campaign on a high with a 5-4 victory over Sports Odisha, who suffered their third straight loss and were eliminated from the competition. The Nagaland side raced to a three-goal lead in 17 minutes, with Lamsanggin Hangsing stabbing the ball into the bottom corner before Chingthaipou scored from a set-piece. Hangsing added another with a cheeky flick. Sports Odisha got one back at the stroke of half-time as Alok Kumar Das scored from a rebound.

Chingthaipou completed his brace in the 25th minute to make it 4-1, but the Odisha club kept scoring goals at regular intervals to reduce the deficit. Captain Prasanta Srihari got on the scoresheet before Thulunso Yimchunger nutmegged the goalkeeper to make it 5-2 for Nyenshen. It got really close in the end when Alok scored off two counter-attacks and completed his hat-trick to make it 5-4 in the 40th minute, but it was too late by then.

Saturday, June 29th Fixtures:
12:00 IST: Classic FA vs Millat FC
14:30 IST: Satvir FC vs Electric Veng FC
17:00 IST: Speed Force FC vs Baroda FA
19:30 IST: Casa Barwani SC vs JCT FA

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