A disappointing baptism for South United
South United FC endured a disappointing baptism into the big league, losing 4-3 to Luangmual FC, as the second division I-League’s Group ‘C’ fixtures got underway at the Football Stadium here on Monday.
Although three of its strikes came from generous goalkeeping errors — Harpreet Singh and his half-time replacement Razakh both guilty — Luangmual can claim to have played the better football on the day.
Chencho put the Mizos ahead in the 11th minute, burying Lalruatthara’s centre with the South United defence caught flat-footed. The local team drew level through Amoes’s penalty not long after, but this parity lasted all of three minutes. C. Lalrosanga floated in a free-kick that Harpreet came out to gather — and missed hopelessly — leaving B. Lalrawngbawla head in.
This was turning into a frenetic game, chances arriving at either end. When Stephen slotted home a rebound off the crossbar, to level scores again at 2-2, only 24 minutes had passed. There was to be one more Luangmual goal to cap off a manic first half, Harpreet guilty of palming a harmless ball directly into the path of Lalruatdika.
The hapless goalkeeper was taken off at half-time, but the substitute Razakh fared no better. He failed to clear a weak shot in the 57th minute, handing B. Zoramthara a simple tap-in.
The introduction of Mani Vannan, who was originally pencilled in to start, improved South United’s prospects somewhat.
But, it was not until the last seven minutes that the deficit was reduced, the centre-half Jayanta Raj Banshi scoring off a corner. A tired South United tried hard, but there was to be no equaliser.
Earlier in the day, Kolkata’s Southern Samity held NRB Vasco SC to a 1-1 draw, David Ngaihte cancelling out Emmanuel Chinew’s opener.
NRB Vasco SC 1 (Emmanuel Chinew 32) drew with Southern Samity 1 (David Ngaihte 45).
South United FC 3 (Amoes 17, Stephen 24, Jayanta Raj Banshi 83) lost to Luangmual FC 4 (Chencho 11, B. Lalrawngbawla 20, Lalruatdika 35, B. Zoramthara 57).