Sloppy South United stare down the barrel

Sloppy South United stare down the barrel

South United Football Club’s I-League hopes appear all but doomed after crashing to a third straight defeat in the Second Division competition here on Saturday.

On the other hand, dark horses Southern Samity boosted their chances of advancing to the final phase, eking out a 1-0 victory from a mundane encounter at the Bangalore Football stadium to climb to the top spot with seven points from three games.

Barring Suroj Mondal’s 73rd-minute winner for the Kolkatan side, there was nothing much to write home about an insipid clash that left a decent weekend crowd disappointed. Unable to even string together three continuous passes amongst themselves, both teams failed to get a measure of each other, often surrendering possession very casually.

While the youthful South United at least made a couple of forays into the penalty box -- although it resulted in nothing, Samity hardly made an impact in the opening half despite having some experienced players in their ranks.

Completely lacking in tempo and rhythm, the match saw its first moment of goal-mouth action when Samity’s M Basanta Singh dribbled from the left and relayed a fine cross into the box.

However, a slow Suroj failed to connect the header from point-blank range and to Samity’s horror, Jamir Ali Mondal, just a foot off Suroj, missed a simple tap-in.
The action on the pitch remained the same upon resumption too as both teams kept committing silly errors after errors. However, just when it seemed that the match would peter out toward a goalless draw, Suroj showed good presence of mind to power his side ahead from set-piece.

Tuishim Mashangva’s loose header off a throw-in from the deep fell straight at Suroj and the striker blasted the volley home perfectly.

Knowing that their I-League hopes had taken a severe beating, South United tried forcing an equaliser but their feeble stature and inexperience proved to be their undoing. While most of the time they were easily outmuscled from well outside the 18-yard box, the few times they managed to snake in, the strikers made a hash of it.

Despite that, South United had a great chance to snatch an injury-time equaliser but Stephen grassed it inexplicably. Completely unmarked and just goalkeeper Naseem Akhtar to beat, the striker headed Vignesh Gunashekar’s cross wide from close range.

In the day’s earlier match, Iyikwobe Chizoba Christopher scored a treble as Kalighat Milan Sangha drubbed Eagles FC 5-1. The win took Kalighat to six points from three matches while Eagles stay on one point from as many games.

Sunday’s matches: 1.00 pm: Mumbai Tigers vs Lunagmual FC; 3.00 pm: Hindustan FC vs Vasco.

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