INDIAN FOOTBALL : I-LEAGUE 2014-15 REPORT

I-LEAGUE 2014-15 : Royal wahindoh DREW 1-1 AGAINST Bharat fc

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 Royal wahindoh 1-1 Bharat fc

21.03.2015 : ROYAL WAHINDOH -- 1-1 -- BHARAT FC (FT.)
ROL : Jackiechand singh 32'
BFC : kris Bright 85'
ROL : Nikhil, Reagan, L'kima, Loveday, Bekay, Densill, L'sanga, Naoba, Godwin, Jackichand, Kim Song
BFC: Arindam, Mehraj, Mangi, Ravanan, Nabi, Bobby, Boco, Vignesh, Lester, Bright, Subhash..

90': 5 minute added time.
90': RED CARD : Loveday of Royal Bobby Hassell of Bharat shown Red Card.
85': GOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLL : Kris Bright of BFC scored.
74' : SUBSTITUTION - BFC : Tapan Maity comes on for G Vignesh
32': GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL 1-0 to Royal as Jackie Chand singh scored. Jackichand's long ranger hit the post and finds the net.
10': NO SCORE. 0-0

A highly determined second half display saw Bharat FC come away with a point against Royal Wahingdoh FC at the Nehru Stadium in Shillong in the Hero I-League's round 12 encounter. In a pulsating match, Jackichand Singh's opening goal in the 31st minute was cancelled out by a crafty Kris Bright header in the 85th minute. With both teams sharing a point each, the two sides retain their respective positions on the Hero I-League table.

Bharat FC are eighth with nine points from eight games while Royal Wahingdoh FC are on fourth place with 14 points from nine matches. The match saw a frenetic opening with Bharat FC being pushed into their own half in face of some sustained attacking pressure from the hosts. Bharat FC's head coach Stuart Watkiss had spoken of the hosts playing their 3-4-3 formation in excellent fashion and on Saturday afternoon it was exactly what they did. The front trio of Jackichand Singh, BekayBawarand Kim Song Yong seemed to stretch the Bharat FC defensive line, constantly trying to free up pockets of space.

The first chance arrived in the eighth minute when Jackichand Singh ran on to a perfectly weighted ball from Densil Theobald but a perfectly executed sliding tackle from RavananDharmaraj averted danger. BekayBawar flashed a shot goal-wards in the 15th minute but Bharat FC captain Gouramangi Singh’s accurate positioning ensured that the ball cannoned off his leg and out of play.

G Vignesh, handed his first start in seven games, put in a great shift in central midfield partnering Bobby Hassell and RomualdBoco. The trio combined beautifully to release Lester Fernandez down the left in the 21st minute, but the nimble winger's first touch was too heavy and the Wahingdoh defense regrouped and shut down the cross.

The first goal of the game arrived in the 31st minute. Reagan Singh punted a long ball up-field from the right and found Jackichand Singh 10 yards from the Bharat FC box. The attacker took a wonderful first touch, getting on the inside of Gouramangi Singh. The attacker then unleashed a powerful rising shot from the edge of the box and the ball hit the underside of the cross-bar before going in.

Royal Wahingdoh FC continued to pile on the pressure but the Bharat FC defense seemed to have regained its composure and shape, often shutting down dangerous moves before the final ball could be delivered. In the 38th minute, RomualdBoco got hold of the ball in the center of the field, 35 yards from goal. The French-Beninese winger cut inside, dribbled and created a yard of space but unfortunately saw his shot blocked by a lunging centre-back.

In the last move of the first half, MehrajuddinWadoo almost got on the score-sheet as he powered a header off a Lester Fernandez corner. However, Wadoo seemed to have got too much of the ball as it ballooned and went out for a goal-kick. The second half saw Bharat FC play with increased attacking endeavor and though the Lions created a number of chances, the lack of a final ball seemed to hamper their efforts of scoring the equalizer.

In the 65th minute, head coach Watkiss threw on Palestinian international Omar Jarun for his I-League debut. The six foot five inch centre-back was deployed as a second striker and the tactical switch seemed to work wonders. The striking pair of Kris Bright and Jarun constantly harried the Royal Wahingdoh FC defense and a goal seemed imminent.

In the 85th minute, Govin Singh conceded a free-kick for handball down the left and Syed Rahim Nabi's in-swinging delivery caused confusion in the Wahingdoh FC box. Kris Bright, prowling at the far post, directed a bouncing ball expertly across the face of the goal and ensured that the swerve of the ball took it over the goal-line and over the goalkeeper.

There was some late drama in the game as LovedayOkechukw was show a red card for violent conduct. The referee also cautioned Bobby Hassell for his part in the resulting fracas. A few moments later, the referee adjudged that Hassell seemed to take too long to deliver a free-kick, consequently showing him his second yellow card. With both sides reduced to 10-men, the contest saw a few more thrusts and counter-thrusts but without the necessary cutting-edge

PREVIEW : ROYAL TO FACE BHARAT FC TOMORROW
A high-on-confidence Bharat FC side will look to set the record straight as they ready to take on Royal Wahingdoh FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Saturday. The match against Royal Wahingdoh FC, promoted from the I-League second division this year, will be Bharat FC's first return fixture of the season. Bharat FC had squandered a 1-0 lead against Royal Wahingdoh FC, eventually losing the game 1-2 at the end of January this year.

Bharat FC recorded a 1-0 win in their last Hero I-League fixture, a MehrajuddinWadoo header gave the Lions all three points against Sporting Clube de Goa. Since then, Bharat FC has enjoyed a two-week break which saw head coach Stuart Watkiss fine-tune the team's strategies. Royal Wahingdoh FC were consigned to a 1-0 defeat away to Pune FC in the last round. The hosts currently occupy fourth place in the Hero I-League standings with 13 points from eight games. Bharat FC are at eighth place in the table having accumulated eight points from seven games.

The Lions travelled to Shillong on Thursday and underwent an intensive training session on Friday morning. Head coach Watkiss said that the team was shaping up well and the two-week break had done his team a world of good. “Everyone went away, spent some time with their families and recharged their batteries. Since we have been back, there has been a new intensity in training and I am enjoying that. All the boys are putting in lots of hard work and I am confident of taking home a positive result,” he said.

Bharat FC has a full strength side to choose from with only Tomba Singh missing out due to an ankle injury. Arindam Bhattacharya returns from national duty after having been a part of India's World Cup qualifiers squad. New signing TapanMaity also finds a place for himself in the match-day squad. 23-year-old Simranjeet Singh and Bharat FC's fourth foreign signing Omar Jarun feature in the match-day squad for the first time.

Watkiss said that he expected a tough, open game on Saturday afternoon. The 48-year-old also hinted that he had a measure of the opponents after having seen them in action over a few matches. 'They are a good side who are compact and keep their shape well. They play the 4-3-3 formation really well but we come up with our own plans and I think we have a few ideas on how we can assert ourselves,' he said.

Steven Dias, the 31-year-old midfielder is confident that Bharat FC have finally found their stride and have managed to strike a great understanding within the team. 'Since the beginning of the season, we have been held back a little because of the understanding between teammates which is integral on the field. However, since a few weeks now, that understanding seems to have blossomed really well. Everyone is confident of their teammates' ability and you can see that we are playing refined football now,' he said.

Royal Wahingdoh FC head coach Santosh Kashyap said though recent results had not gone his side's way, he was sure that a turnaround was around the corner. 'We have been playing good football. Creating opportunities, stretching defenses and we know that we can get the results that we want. The players are enjoying playing in the I-League, they are expressing themselves well and that is a very encouraging sign,' he said. Royal Wahingdoh FC have a few injury worries but coach Kashyap put up a brave face and said that the missing players would not really hamper his team's setup or its direct and aggressive approach.