AIFF Media Team
KALYANI: All India Football Federation’s Kalyani Regional Academy rode on Nuruddin Sameer’s hat-trick to stage a brilliant comeback from behind and register a comprehensive 4-1 victory against Mankundu Sporting Club in a Friendly match at the Kalyani Stadium on Saturday (April 19, 2014).
Besides, Krishna Pandit completed the rout.
Even as Academy Head Coach Gautam Ghosh preferred not to stick to his best Starting XI and rotate it among his wards, the score-line could have looked more one-sided but for some placements narrowly going wide and Bodo Boardindao’s penalty saved by the rival Goalkeeper.
Mankundu Sporting Club’s Senior Team fielded two separate XIs in the two halves and took the lead in the third minute itself when Amit Tudu’s backpass was a shade too slow to reach Anuj under the bar and the rival Striker pounced upon it to slot it home.
The early setback spurred the Academy boys who presently form the nucleus of the India U-16 National squad. The barrage of attacks which followed ran the steam out of the Senior rivals. Quick touches, playing in the vacant spaces, supporting each other, relentless pressing; as always, stayed the hallmark of play. It was all about methodical Football.
Nuruddin scored his first goal midway in the first-half. Jerry Lalrinzuala, with his sudden burst of speed pierced the rival defence with his diagonal run and passed it to Nuruuddin. Nuruddin, with a deft feint went past his marker and placed it to the left of the Goalkeeper.
The very next minute, a string of passes kept the rivals guessing and as Bedashowar Singh attempted to finish it off in style, the ball agonisingly sailed over.
Jerry was in the thick of things as the Academy boys took the lead in the 31st minute. He followed Bedashwor’s lob over the rival defence but even as Striker Krishna Pandit was trapped off-side, Jerry took the ball and put it for Nuruddin to push it into the net.
Jerry, however, was denied getting his name on the scoresheet in the 25th minute as the Sporting Goalkeeper acrobatically dived to his right to palm off Jerry’s free-kick from just outside the box.
By then, the Academy boys were roaming all over. They were slowing it down at will, switching it to the other end at will, making the rivals chase at their will.
The third goal came in the 42nd minute; this time, Nuruddin beat the off-side trap, drew the Goalkeeper to his side and laid it for Krishna to bulge the net.
The Goalkeeper, however, denied Nuruddin his hat-trick at the stroke of interval when he intercepted Nuruddin’s placement from inside the box as the Academy boys went into the interval enjoying a 3-1 lead.
Post resumption, it was 4-1 in the 54th minute and it came straight from the blackboard. Jerry played an one-two with Kishan Singh and set it for Bedashwor. Thereafter, it was Bedashwor to Jerry to Anirudh Thapa, back to Bedashwor, who passed to Thapa again only for Nuruddin to finish it off. All of that was played in one flash, all one touches – swift and precise.
The Academy boys were awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute. Kishan intercepted a counter-attack in his own half and ran past the entire rival defence only to be brought down inside the box as he was all set to pull the trigger. But the rival Goalkeeper managed to deny Bodo from the spot.
Head Coach Gautam Ghosh maintained it was all part of the “learning process.”
“We intend to play Friendly Matches against strong Teams. This is all part of the preparation of the U-16 National Team. We don’t play Friendly Matches to be entertained. It is all a part of the learning process and the boys need to learn from their mistakes,” he stated.
“I reiterate I am proud of my boys for the manner they responded on the field. They are a wonderful bunch to work with,” he added.
Posted on : Saturday April 19, 2014