Football fans were treated to a goal fest as Delhi FC prevailed 4-3 in a high-scoring second-round I-League clash against Rajasthan United FC at the Namdhari Sports Complex on Thursday, November 2.
Aroldo da Silva Arruda, known to fans as Aroldinho, stole the spotlight with a stunning brace, while Gurtej Singh and Sergio Barboza also got their names on the scoresheet for Delhi FC. This victory was special for Delhi FC as it marked their first-ever triumph in the I-League after securing promotion this season. For Rajasthan United, who were reduced to 10 men in the 82nd minute following Ibrahim Moro’s dismissal, Yash Tripathi was the standout performer as he scored a remarkable hattrick.
Delhi FC launched an onslaught right from the start. Their relentless attacking approach generated numerous opportunities in the first half. In contrast, Rajasthan United, coming off a defeat against Real Kashmir FC, took some time to find their rhythm but eventually rallied in the second half, transforming the match into a thriller.
The fireworks began early, with Aroldinho’s lethal right-footed strike finding the back of the net in the fourth minute. The play originated from a short corner taken by Munmun Timothy Lugun, culminating in Aroldinho’s clinical finish.
However, Rajasthan United responded swiftly, leveling the score in the 14th minute when Dario Da’silva Junior made a weaving run into the Delhi FC box, ultimately setting up Yash Tripathi for a composed finish.
Delhi FC regained the lead in the 34th minute, capitalising on a set-piece opportunity. Timothy delivered a precise corner from the right, and an unmarked Gurtej Singh made no mistake, heading the ball into the net as the Rajasthan United goalkeeper remained rooted to his spot.
The first half concluded with another corner paying dividends for Delhi FC in the 44th minute. Gurtej’s headed effort from Timothy’s corner found Aroldinho, who tumbled but managed to secure his second goal of the match, sending Delhi FC into halftime with a 3-1 lead.
Delhi FC maintained their attacking momentum in the second half, extending their lead in the 52nd minute. Bhupinder Singh, set free by Girik Mahesh Khosla’s precise through ball, was brought down from behind by Rajasthan United’s Amritpal Singh, resulting in a penalty. Captain Sergio Barboza Junior coolly converted from the spot.
Despite being on the back foot, Rajasthan United displayed resilience. They reduced the deficit in the 65th minute when Lalchungnunga’s corner was met with a header by Tripathi. Just three minutes later, Tripathi completed his hattrick, pouncing on a rebound after Delhi FC goalkeeper Pawan Kumar blocked a shot from Richard Gadze.
Rajasthan United’s comeback hopes were dashed in the 82nd minute when Ibrahim Moro received his marching orders, shown a second yellow card by referee Surojit Das. Delhi FC successfully held on to their lead, securing a hard-fought victory in a contest that will be remembered for its relentless action and goal-scoring drama.