Jamshedpur: Malswama helped TFA White defeat TFA Blue 2-1 in the JRD Tata Cup international invitational football tournament at the JRD Tata Sports Complex today.
TFA White is leading the table with seven points from three matches. Uzbekistan is placed second with five, the two clashing on Friday.
Down 0-1 at the breather, TFA White came back strongly with Malsawma taking charge in the second-half. Replacing Chitrasen Chandam Singh, he opened the goalmouth for his side.
The Blue outfit matched their rivals move to move in the first half.
They took the lead in the 24th minute when N. Khemtang Paite executed a superb free-kick from the right. White goalkeeper Larry Wilson Diengdoh was beaten in the flight as an alert P.C. Lalam Puia slotted home.
The Blue boys played well in the first-half, but their forwards failed to utilise the chances. It could well have been 2-0 had forward Manahar Dharani’s right-footer from outside the box not missed the target.
Earlier, Paite came close to scoring with a solo run in the 32nd minute. White wasted an opportunity to equalise when Vanlal Rova missed a spot-kick in the 58th minute following an infringement on Vimal Pariyar. He managed to beat goalkeeper Shilton Paul in the first attempt, but it was disallowed by referee Vinod Kumar Singh as the players surged forward even before Rova took the shot.
The match complexion changed dramatically when Malsawma took the field in the 60th minute. The diminutive midfielder went past three defenders just near the centreline before catching another on the wrong foot and slid the ball the past the rival ’keeper in the 67th minute.
White sealed the issue in the 82nd minute when Malswama’s flag-kick was fisted away by the keeper, but Rova got hold of the ball near the goalmouth. He lobbed it to Pariyar, who headed it in.
Coach Stepehen Constantine said after the match that Malsawma made all the difference.
Constantine added both the teams were less motivated and playing against each other.