Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) academy graduate Koustav Dutta showed nerves of steel to score a stoppage-time equaliser as Hyderabad FC held FC Goa to a 2-2 draw in a thrilling encounter on Thursday.
In front of a packed house at the Benaulim Ground, 20-year old Dutta steered home from a long throw in the last minute of stoppage time as Hyderabad made it 2-2 in a frantic end to the fourth-round Reliance Foundation Development League (RFDL) clash.
Dutta, who graduated from RFYC in 2020, also provided the assist for C. Lalchungnunga’s equaliser in the 89th minute, barely minutes after coming off the bench as his team cancelled out Lesly Rebello’s 21st minute strike.
After Lalchungnunga equalised with a stunning goal from the edge of the box, Vasim Inamdar (90+4) helped the Gaurs take the lead again four minutes into stoppage time before Dutta netted with virtually the last kick of the ball, showing composure of the highest order despite the vociferous supporters getting behind the ‘home’ team. The result means both teams have four points from the same number of games.
It was Goa who dominated the game after Rebello’s early header from a corner, displaying a much-improved performance after their 1-5 drubbing at the hands of Jamshedpur FC. Hyderabad FC were on the back foot for most parts of the game barring the brilliant Lalchungnunga who kept at it with his mazy runs and clever body feints. Hyderabad were better in the second half, Goa keeper Hrithik Tiwari called into action quite a few times before all the drama started in the last five minutes.
In the early kickoff, Bengaluru FC matched Kerala Blasters FC with a fourth consecutive win, as they hammered Mumbai City FC 5-0 in a lopsided match at the Nagoa Ground.
For Bengaluru, Rahul Raju scored a brace (17th, 45+1) with goals also coming from Lastborn Mawphniang (5th) and Robin Yadav 87th). Mumbai’s Gautam Virwani (79OG) was guilty of putting the ball in his own net, summing up their day. Bengaluru are top of the points table with 12 points from four matches. Mumbai remain winless and at the foot of the table.
It was all Bengaluru from the get-go, Lastborn turning in a Bekey Oram low cross beyond Bishal Lama in Mumbai goal just five minutes into the game.
Raju racked up his fourth goal in as many matches minutes later, Lastborn in the thick of things again intercepting the ball and crossing for the forward who tapped it into an empty net.
The Islanders struggled to string passes together and looked rather disjointed as Bengaluru bossed possession, Oram firing over the bar and Namgyal Bhutia forcing Lama into a good save from a curling free kick. Amay Morajkar also saw his dink over the keeper miss the target.
Raju also headed over, getting on the end of a good move before he scored his second of the morning. Bekey set Raju free in the 18-yard box with the striker volleying into the top left corner leaving Lama with no chance.
The story was no different in the second half and making matters worse for Mumbai, defender Virwani toe-poked a Lalthangliana effort into his own goal after Emboklang Nongkhlaw’s strike was pushed back into play by the keeper.
Robin completed the rout for the Blues, converting a rebound after Rakesh Meitei’s shot was saved by the keeper. It could have been more as just before the fifth goal, Morajkar found his attempt come off the crossbar.