SPORT

Mahindra United starts off with a win

Principal Correspondent

KOLKATA: Mahindra United began its campaign in the 114th IFA Shield on a winning note downing local side George Telegraph SC 2-0 in a Group ‘C’ league match at the Khardah Stadium on Tuesday.

In Group ‘A’ Chirag United SC rallied to hold a spirited Tata Football Academy 1-1 at the Mohun Bagan ground.

Rusty

Playing its first competitive match of the season Mahindra appeared rusty initially and took time to settle down. The local side held off the few attacks that the Mumbai giant could manage as the fist session ended barren.

Mahindra started playing more aggressively after the change of ends. The visitor had its Nigerian forward Subair Muritala Ali, making most of the efforts to break open the opposition defence.

While the goal remained elusive Mahindra earned a distinct advantage as Telegraph was reduced to 10 men in the 60th minute when the latter’s defender Hira Roy was given marching orders for fouling Muritala Ali.

Mahindra found the first break late in the 70th minute through its attacking combination of Muritala Ali and Mohammad Rafi. Rafi nodded home the opener receiving a fine cross from the Nigerian striker.

Rafi added a second 12 minutes later when Muritala Ali set him up with a nice through pass inside the Telegraph box.

Spirited show by TFA

Tata Football Academy proved a handful for the I-League side Chirag United. The first session ended goalless with Chirag wasting most of the goal-ward moves that came up during the period.

Chirag missed a golden chance to go one up in the 40th minute when its new Brazilian recruit Josimar Da Silva’s feeble penalty was saved by TFA custodian Ishan Debnath.

Subodh’s free-kick

The young recruits of the premier football academy of the country got into rhythm after the break and found the lead in the 47th minute through skipper Subodh Kumar, who scored directly from a free-kick.

Stung by the reverse Chirag struck back soon as TFA defender Gurjinder Singh messed up a clearance giving opponent midfielder Shylo Malswamtluanga the chance to slot in the equaliser.

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