7 October 2021 .. ..
Delhi FC 3 (28’ Fahad Temuri, 36’ Sergio Barboza, Radhakanta Singh 59’)
ARA FC 0 ..
Photos and text AIFF MEDIA TEAM (hero-i-league.org)
BENGALURU: Delhi FC began their Hero I-League
Qualifiers 2021 campaign with a resounding 3-0 win against ARA FC from
Gujarat. The team from the capital put on a dominant display in their
search for all three points from their first Group B match. Fahad
Temuri, Sergio Barboza and Radhakanta Singh got on the scoresheet for
Delhi FC. The match leaves ARA FC winless from their first two matches
in the competition, having drawn their first match 1-1 against Corbett
Delhi FC remained comfortable from start to finish in the match as
they continued to play at a high level, as seen in their Durand Cup
campaign over the last few weeks. ARA FC began the match trying to pose
questions of the Delhi FC defence, but Delhi had all the answers to
sustain the pressure. Delhi FC were led ably by their captain Anwar Ali,
who displayed a leader’s performance as he dealt not only with
defensive dangers, but also showcased his passing range as he frequently
initiated the team’s plays from the back.
The first chance of the match broke out for Sergio Barboza from Delhi
FC, who got hold of the second ball after ARA FC goalkeeper Sukhadev
parried away a cross into the box. Barboza got into a promising
position, but could not control his volley as he shot off target.
The next big chance of the match fell ARA FC’s way in the 20th
minute, when Delhi FC gave away the ball casually in a dangerous part of
the pitch. Bala Alhassan played striker Dieye Hamidou through on goal
with plenty of time from him to find the finish, but he dallied on the
ball and allowed defender Anwar Ali to make a fantastic recovery with a
goal saving tackle.
The first goal of the match came in the 28th minute, when Fahad
Temuri exchanged a quick one-two with Nikhil Mali before making space
for himself to take a shot on goal. He scored with a hit that rifled
into the high part of the net.
Delhi doubled their advantage eight minutes later through Sergio
Barboza. Barboza received the ball a long way from goal, but he took off
on a bullish run leaving his marker behind to find himself a yard to
shoot from a central position. He did just that as he unleashed a
powerful low drive which the goalkeeper could have dealt with on another
day, but was unable to on this occasion.
There was a chance for ARA FC to get one goal back on the stroke of
half time, as Hamidou made the most of a scrappy situation to get a shot
away, but goalkeeper James Kithan produced a save from point blank
range to deny the striker.
Overall, Delhi FC merited their two goal lead at half time and came
back to produce more of the same on the other side of the half. Delhi FC
controlled the tempo of the game, and individual players in Himanshu
Jangra, Nikhil Mali and Shaiza all made an impression. They added to
their lead with a third and final goal of the match when Radhakanta
Singh came on as a substitute to make an instant impact, scoring with a
first touch lob over 30 yards from goal as he latched on to a bad
clearance from the opposition goalkeeper. The substitute scored one of
the finest goals of the Hero I-League Qualifiers so far.
The loss means that ARA FC remain winless in their first two games, while Delhi FC reach the top of Group B on goal difference.