A controversial 84th minute penalty sealed the fate of RoundGlass Sports in the high-stakes clash against Minerva Punjab FC in the AIFF organised U-18 Youth League (Punjab Zone) played at the Minerva Training Ground, Kharar.
Playing their first away game against the U-18 side of the defending I-League champions, RoundGlass Sports boys started on a strong note after their coach, Devan Denial, opted for a 4-3-3 formation. But the orange-clad team was in for an early setback when the first-choice goalkeeper, Amit Singh, had to walk off the field with an arm injury in the 12th minute, which brought in the reserve goalkeeper, Sourav Kumar, under the bar.
Despite the sudden change in plans, the RoundGlass Sports boys kept the tempo up as they started dictating the pace of the game in the mid-field with short passes and speedy runs down the flanks.
In the first-half, RoundGlass Sports forwards crated several half-chances, but were not able to find the finishing touch. On the other hand, Minerva Punjab FC got just one clear chance-their only one in the entire match- which they failed to make good of, ending the first half on an even keel.
In the second half, RoundGlass Sports brought in Deepit Bhatti in the 56th minute in place of Satpal Singh. The midfield reshuffle seemed to work in favour of RoundGlass Sports, as they severely tested the Minerva Punjab FC backline several times. But in the 84th minute, against the tempo of play, the referee awarded a controversial penalty to Minerva Punjab FC, which was converted by Makan Winkle Chothe to make 1-0 in favour of the home team.
For RoundGlass Sports, Sanit Dhadwal and Henry Vanlalsanga came up with standout performances upfront. There was no further change to the scoreline at final whistle.
RoundGlass Sports will play its next away game on December 4, against Youth FC at Rurka Kalan.