| A moment from the match between Green Valley (in white) and Assam Police at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati on Monday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, Aug. 26: A solitary goal victory against Assam Police Blues today helped Green Valley Sports Club climb up the ladder in the points table to be in contention for a championship group berth in the second leg of the ongoing Abhishek Motors R.G. Baruah Trophy Guwahati Super League football tournament at Nehru Stadium here.
Playing the last six-round match of the first leg on the first turf on a humid afternoon, the second division I-League outfit clinched their third win to tally 10 points, including a point tallied from a drawn encounter against former champions Assam State Electricity Board SC earlier in the league. They are currently placed third after holders NF Railway and Navajyoti Club on the points’ table.
Green Valley’s ascent to the upper group pushed ASEB SC into the relegation zone with one match remaining to be played in the first leg.
Though it was expected to be a one-sided affair on paper, given the policemen’s show in their earlier match, today’s encounter turned out to be rather disappointing for the Green Valley supporters with striker Michael Lucky Kelechukwe being off-colour.
Coach Naresh Chetry’s replacement of midfielder Shabir Ali, who was apparently not being able to give his best today, with A. Ronal Singh in the last few minutes of the first half proved to a right bet as the latter fired in the all-important goal in the 70th minute.
Singh drew the applause of one and all with a spectacular free-kick conversion from the right flank. The power-packed shot flew right through the ear of the wall straight into the second post, leaving Assam Police defenders and custodian Kailash Das gaping.
Earlier, the first half was a rather drab affair with neither side causing any adrenaline rush.
The second half started with the policemen raiding the opponent castle at quick intervals. However, the Green Valley defence and glovesman Roy guarded the woodwork successfully on every occasion.
Another goal eluded Green Valley when a powerful left footer by Lucky Imran off an Apurba Phukan free kick from the right flank brushed past the cross-piece.
Like the last few minutes of the first session, the policemen once again made all-out efforts in the last few minutes of the match, but were ably tackled by the Green Valley men denying an equaliser.
Food Corporation of India SC will meet Sunrise Athletic Club in tomorrow’s match.
In the Jibeswar Goswami first division league match on the second turf, Ganga Sports Club humbled Rising XI 6-0 to be placed at top of the tally with 15 points at the end of the penultimate round making their last encounter against City Police a crucial one for both the sides to book a Super League berth next year.
Lalrintluanga netted two goals for Ganga in the 11th and 36th minutes; the other scorers for the side include Vanlalnghaka (18th minute), Solomon Ocaide Taiwo (60th minute), Ditawma Darlong (79th minute) and Yumnam Gopi Singh (84th minute).
Sports Authority of India SC will meet Rajbari Athletic Club in tomorrow’s match.