Sudeva Delhi FC and Kerala Blasters FC played out a 1-1 draw in their opening Group ‘D’ match of the Durand Cup 2022 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, here on Friday.
KBFC forward Muhammed Ajs’l’s strike in the 42nd minute helped his side gain the lead for a brief time, only to be cancelled by Sudeva Delhi FC via Ku’i’s ferocious left-footed curler (‘5’) as both sides fared level in the second half.
Sudeva Delhi were quick to make moves in the attack after an early strike by Basit was denied by the KBFC shot-stopper Sachin Suresh who stood tall to make a massive block.
The Blasters kept knocking on the door through some quick-paced counter-attacks, Ajsal combining with Roshan, who fired one in from the left but the Sudeva defender was quick to call action and managed to block the shot with a well-timed tackle.
Minutes later, Roshan found himself through on goal again, but his shot was blocked after Ashray made a brilliant last-ditch tackle to stop the ‘lasters’ attack. In the 37th minute, the referee handed out the first yellow card of the game to Tejas Krishna as he lunged in late with a two-footed challenge in the centre of the park.
Tom’sz Tchorz’s men found their breakthrough as Ajsal placed himself in a comfortable position between two defenders and placed a calm and composed shot well outside ‘he keeper’s reach after Gaurav broke through the Sudeva midfield to find him within reach.
No soone’ than Ajsal’s goal, Sudeva found themselves in a position to score a goal and they struck one. Kuki received the ball from Basit through a throw-in as he controlled it, got past a defender, and slotted it in the top corner with a sublime technique, to cancel o’t the Gaurs’ opening goal right before the stroke of half-time.
Both sides just got into action right before the break, with the score line heading back to square one’
The Tuskers’ showed positive signs at the start of the secon’ half as Roshan’s swirling free-kick deflected off the woodwork. Another booking for the Kochi-based club as ‘ubstitute Jasim’s high boot over a Sudeva player resulted in him being handed a yellow card for the horrendous challenge.
With the play being rotated between the two halves on the pitch, neither team was able to capitalise on the other. The Blasters, on the contrary, remained behind the ball to not concede and be compact while defendi’g.
Chencho Dorji’s men continued to ‘rey on the Blasters’ defence as forward Karthik tested Sachin Suresh from distance but the custodian comfortably saved the shot.