Thursday , May 23 2024

Delhi triumph over Kerala on penalties to book U-20 National Football Championship semifinal berth!

Delhi reached the semi-finals of the Swami Vivekananda U-20 Men’s National Football Championship when they overcame Kerala via a tie-breaker at the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Ground in Narainpur, Chhattisgarh, on Thursday, May 9, 2024.

The tie-breaker was applied after the teams were locked 3-3 at the end of regulation time and 30 minutes of extra time failed to break the deadlock. Delhi proved superior to their rivals in the tie-breaker, winning 4-1. Delhi goalkeeper Karan Makkar added to his team’s cause by saving two penalty kicks. Makkar was adjudged the Player of the Match. Delhi have become the third side to qualify for the semi-finals after Karnataka and Manipur.

ST Lamlallian, Rituraj Mohan, Kamginsei Touthang and Akshay Raj Singh scored for Delhi in the tie-breaker. Only Akshay Kumar Subedi could manage to send his shot to the right place for Kerala.

The stipulated time of 90 minutes was an interesting affair as the fortunes of the match swung from one end to the other at a regular interval. While Kerala led 2-1 at halftime, Delhi struck back to go 3-2 ahead by the 65th minute. Kerala, however, restored parity in the 73rd minute.

Kerala took the lead in the 16th minute when opportunistic striker Ahammed Anfas tapped in a cross from the left. Delhi equalised eight minutes later off a corner kick when Sonam Tsewang Lhokham placed himself in the correct position to head in. Kerala went ahead at the stroke of half-time; Anfas once again evaded the defenders to tap in when the Delhi goalkeeper fumbled to collect a rather innocuous cross from the left.

In the second half, Delhi scored their second goal in the 60th minute from a spot-kick conversion by Ramesh Chhetri. Substitute Akshay Raj Singh made it 3-2 five minutes later only to see Shanu Stellus take advantage of a corner kick to bring Kerala back in the game.

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