BANGALORE: HAL's opening tie of this seasons football league, for the George Hoover Cup, which is already four months late, was far from impressive despite the 3-0 scoreline against a mediocre BEL.
BEL began on an aggressive note but fell back once the Aircraftmen raided relentlessly and conceded its first goal in the 23rd minute. A move down the right by Rajendra Prasad was relayed to Onu who gently squared the ball for young Jenny Freddy to bulge the net.
In the 78th minute Rajendra Prasad made it 2-0 with a penalty kick. Substitute Atish's attempt was blocked by BEL goalkeeper Suresh and even as Raju went for the rebound he was brought down inside the box by Ranjith Lopez and referee Suresh Kumar pointed to the 'spot'. Rajendra Prasad scored past the goalkeeper.
Earlier, HAL was reduced to 10 men when Xavier Vijaykumar was shown the 'red' card for abusing the linesman Ashok. Xavier was shown the 'yellow' for a foul which the player reacted apparently with an abuse, at the linesman.
In the injury time, HAL added its third goal when Raju sprinting away with the ball weaved too far to his left but still managed to find the net with a neat chip that baffled the rival custodian.
BEL had won its earlier match against CIL.
Earlier, Governmetn Press and BEML (EM) shared two goals and points in the 'A' division tie. Suresh netted for BEML (EM) in the 25th minute only to see Venkatesh restore parity three minutes later for the Press.
Big win for Merchants
In a B Division league match at Mangalore, Merchants Football Club thrashed United Uchil 6-0 at the football ground, Nehru Maidan. Afzal (4th minute, 11th), Ashfaq (8th, 20th), Imtiaz (6th) and Samir (51st) scored for the winner.