Satish stars for HASC

Satish stars for HASC

Aircraftmen a point away from sealing I-League berth

Satish stars for HASC

HASC’s Jotin Singh attempts to stop NISA’s L Nabachandra Singh during their I-League Division II clash at Bangalore Football stadium on Thursday. DH Photo

The talented striker struggled to find his touch for the better part of an insipid fixture but found his magic when it mattered the most to hand the Aircraftmen crucial win at the Bangalore Football stadium.

The win helped Aircraftmen to top of the league standings with 15 points from six matches while Oil and Natural Gas Commission lie second with 13 points, who have a game in hand.

HASC now need only a point, regardless of the outcome of other matches, from their last league match against bottom-dwellers SESA, Goa, on Monday to book their spot in nation’s top flight football.

The absence of Nigerian recruits Fredrick Okwagbe and Joseph Femi Adeola due to suspension had forced HASC coach Muralidharan to change the formation. HASC struggled with the new formation in the initial stages of the match.

Xavier Vijay Kumar was removed from his newly-relishing left wing position to a supportive striker with Karthigeyan taking former skipper’s place while Srikanth filled in Femi’s shoes.

HASC failed to find the rhythm and they lacked the aggressive instinct they were known for in their previous ties. NISA, who have just two points, seemed happy and hardly made any goal-bound efforts from their side too turning the opening half into a boring affair.

Just when the fans began venting their frustration, Karthigeyan came up with a goal in spectacular fashion two minutes into the second half. The medio unleashed a curling right-footer from 25 yards on the right that soared past NISA goalkeeper L Premkumar Singh.

Post the goal, HASC looked jaded again, except for two chances with which they could have killed the game. Xavier made hash of all his good work when he dribbled past three defenders only to end up with a weak shot straight to Premkumar in the 63rd minute before he squandered a sitter from point blank in the 73rd minute. The missed chances seemed to hurt HASC badly after NISA’s S Thomas Singh made full use of a defensive blunder in the 74th minute.

However, Satish Jr came up with the winner in the 88th after dribbling past couple of defenders before unleashing a right-footer fzrom the right that found the back of the net.

Other result: Vasco: 4 (Koko Sakobo 30th, 74th, 83rd, Joel Sequeira 58th) bt Oil India: 0.

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