| Green Valley (in white) and Aryan players in action at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati on Friday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, Jan. 3: Calcutta team Aryan Club entered the semi-finals of the 62nd Bharat Ratna Lokopriya Bordoloi Trophy Football Tournament, getting the better of Green Valley Sports Club 4-3 via tiebreakers at Nehru Stadium here today.
The two sides failed to break the deadlock during regulation time, taking the match to the penalty shootout.
Green Valley’s Nigerian recruit Badmus Babatunde decided to go for the target as early as in the first minute from the edge of the box but Aryan FC custodian Subhadeep Banerjee dived to the rescue. Jenga Rongmei attempted a pass from inside the box but failed to find its men in the eighth minute.
Dipak Dolui of Aryan Club took a powerful strike from a distance but it was saved by Green Valley custodian Cheeradeep Chattopadhyay in the 10th minute.
With the second half whistle going off, Babatunde made his way past the opposition defenders into the box and took a shot, which failed to yield the desired result, in the 46th minute. Laldaniala, from inside the box, provided Babatunde with an absolute converting opportunity although the latter’s strike headed way above the crossbar in the 55th minute.
Aryan Club’s Pintu Singh made his way past the Green Valley defenders into the box and shot on target but Green Valley custodian Cheeradeep Chattopadhyay managed to pull out a fine save in the 57th minute.
With every passing minute, Green Valley accelerated their attack but their attempts were foiled by the Aryan defenders. Substitute Thomson Langthasa, having received the ball of a Jenga Rongmei free kick, shot on target but could only manage the safe hands of Aryan custodian.
Michael Lucky Kelechukwu missed out a sitter after he received the ball from Babatunde. His strike from an absolute scoring position, too, denied Green Valley its much needed lead in the 89th minute. Langthasa again missed a golden opportunity to convert a few steps away from the target after he received a pass from Babatunde.
With the match proceeding into the tie-breaker, both the sides converted their two penalty shots missing one each. Aryan Club had to substitute their regular goalkeeper Banerjee owing to injury after their third penalty shot. Tonmoy Karmakar who replaced Banerjee managed to pull out the all-important save while he failed on Green Valley’s fourth penalty.
Babatunde, skipper Lucky Imran and Maneswar Mushahary converted their penalty shots while Michael Lucky Kelechukwu and Jenga Rongmei failed on their chances for Green Valley. Aryan Club’s skipper Sayan Dutta, Arup Patra, Lob Mandal and Chandrasish Dey converted their penalty shots while Biswarup Deb failed in his attempt.