Varkey inspires BPCL to big win

Defending champs crush Air India 6-2

Amar Aiyamma (19th, 23rd) and Jarnail Singh (10th, 56th) thundered in two superb strikes apiece while Hari Prasad (56th) and Karamjeet Singh (64th) scored one goal each as BPCL romped past a lacklustre Air India with consummate ease at the KSHA stadium.

Having suffered a minor slip against Army Red in the demanding title race on Monday, BPCL lifted themselves to second place with 22 points (eight matches), two behind in-form Indian Oil Corporation Limited. The duo will lock horns on Thursday, and with one match left for both sides after that, the clash promises to be a cracker.

Air India slipped to third at 21 while Army Red, who defeated Sports Authority of India 2-1, stayed at fourth on 19. Smarting from their insipid 0-0 stalemate on Monday, BPCL launched a vicious attack on Air India, who simply had no answers to the scintillating display, especially by the 39-year-old Varkey. Entrusted with the coaching job too, the playmaker kept coming off the bench, infusing energy into the midfield and creating goals out of nowhere with his stunning vision.

The three goals he set up today were brilliant while the conversion was magical.  In the 20th minute, Varkey stole the ball from the midfield, dribbled 10 yards on the right before crossing it to Aiyamma, who rifled the ball home on the run.  

Five minutes later, Air India defender Len Aiyappa ceded possession to Varkey, who again sprinted down from the midfield and slipped the ball through the legs of Aiyappa. Aiyamma then finished it off with a fine deflection. His third set up was finished off by Jarnail in the 56th minute. BPCL, leading 4-1, never relaxed, going on to win by a comfortable margin.

Results: BPCL: 6 (Jarnail Singh 10th, 56th, Amar Aiyamma 19th, 23rd, Hari Prasad 56th, Karamjit Singh 64th) bt Air India: 2 (Len Aiyappa 32nd, Vikram Pillay 64th); Fortis: 3 (Diwakar Ram 40th, 54th, Damandeep Singh 60th) bt Namdhari XI: 0; Army Red: 2 (S Armugam 11th, MC Singh 48th) bt SAI: 1 (Poonacha MG 63rd); MEG: 3 (Poovanna 11th, Sahay Jayaseelan 27th, Muthanna 65th) bt Army Green 2 (Jagir Singh 15th, Prabhakar 29th).

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