I-League 2019-20: TRAU FC Get Second Straight Win as They Beat Indian Arrows
I-League 2019-20: Naocha Singh and Princewell Emeka scored as TRAU FC beat Indian Arrows 2-0.
TRAU FC. (Photo Credit: AIFF)
Goa: Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC registered a comfortable 2-0 victory over All India Football Federation's (AIFF) developmental side Indian Arrows at the Tilak Maidan in Goa on Sunday. Naocha Singh scored in the 44th minute to open the scoreline for the visitors before Princewill Emeka doubled the visitor's advantage in the 79th minute.
With the win, TRAU FC climb to the sixth place in the I-League 2019-20 points table with eight points from seven games while Indian Arrows remain rooted to the bottom of the standings with only four points from seven matches.
Arrows head coach Shanmugam Venkatesh made a couple of changes to his line-up from the previous fixture, with Aman Chetri replacing Harpreet Singh and Harmanpreet Singh taking Manvir Singh's place up front, signalling a switch to 3-4-3.
Dimitris Dimitriou made a solitary change, seemingly happy with his newfound cohesion in his side. Sandeep Singh was named to start at the back, at the expense of Deepak Devrani.
Fresh from their victory in the Imphal derby, it was TRAU who started pressing hard from the get-go, piling on the pressure and not allowing Indian Arrows to retain possession for long.
In the 5th minute of the game, Emeka received the ball on the edge of the box, and what didn't seem like a goal-scoring pass initially, was converted into one by the skipper. He took with a beautiful turn that completely took his marker Bikash Yumnam out of the equation and with only the keeper to beat, TRAU were only denied by a smart save from Lalbiakhlua Jongte in the Arrows goal.
TRAU kept pressing hard and forcing errors out of the hosts when they were in possession. Emeka remained a constant threat, running circles around the Arrows defence and in the 12th minute, forced Bikash Yumnam into losing possession to him inside the box, which allowed him a crack on goal, but the number ten fired straight at Jongte.
Krishnananda Singh, in the 18th minute, dispossessed Akash Mishra on the edge of the six-yard box and fed the ball to Emeka with a back-flick. The Nigerian forward did well to get his shot away on the turn, and his effort was destined for goal but was only saved by Jongte.
TRAU's persistence paid dividends going into the break. In the 44th minute, Wahengbam Luwang's corner was met by Naocha inside the box and despite a flurry of blue and white shirts in the box, he got just the right touch to take it past the keeper to give the visitors a well-deserved lead at half time.
Dimitriou's men came out all guns blazing in the second half, picking up the same tempo with which they had left off. Arrows skipper Vikram Partap Singh, who had enjoyed a startling start to the season, found himself isolated for large parts, not seeing enough of the ball to spark a catalyst for the comeback.
In the 64th minute, a throw-in from Abhishek Das into the box was well-received by Emeka and with the angle not in his favour, he tried an audacious chip over the keeper but Jongte was alert to the danger and denied the skipper.
TRAU doubled their lead in the 79th minute when a beautifully weighted pass by Phalguni Singh was well received by Emeka on the turn and with a delicate first touch, took it beyond his marker and placed it home through the legs of Jongte to wheel away in celebration and take the three points for his side.
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