Sudeva Delhi FC scored late on to clinch a win in their third game of the I-League 2021-22 season against Churchill Brothers FC at Naihati Stadium. Coming into the game, Sudeva Delhi FC had a dismal start to their campaign, losing both their previous matches to Mohammedan SC and Indian Arrows.
Their opponents today, Churchill Brothers, also had a troublesome start with a loss and a draw to their name. Both teams started the game in search of three crucial points.
Churchill’s Nigerian striker Kenneth Ikechukwu tried to test the opposition keeper, Sachin Jha, early on in the fourth minute but a deflection from Sudeva defenders ensured that their goal was well protected.
Churchill Brothers tried pressing Sudeva from the start and got a chance to punish them in the twelfth minute when Souvik Das fouled Kenneth to give away a free-kick in a dangerous position. Churchill constantly tried putting pressure on Sudeva Delhi FC but unfortunately, their troubles in the final third continued.
In the twenty-ninth minute of the game, Richard Costa made a cynical challenge on Souvik Das. The referee had no option but to award Costa a yellow card. Akbar Khan tried to create problems from the right side for Churchill Brothers late on in the half with his pace but to no avail. Both Churchill Brothers and Sudeva Delhi FC were canceling each other out in the first half. It ended in a way that portrayed that the game would be a tactical battle in the second half as well.
Coming into the game, Churchill were considered the favorites but, Sudeva’s performance gave them a little scare. The second half began with both teams not trying to give away anything as the game was still level.
A chance came begging for Churchill in the fifty-eighth minute but some great defending by Sudeva Delhi denied Kenneth a goal from a close range. Churchill tried to change something with a double substitution in the seventy-ninth minute. Kingsley Fernandes and Bryce Miranda were replaced by Wendell Savio and Vinil Poojary in search of a winner.
The complexion of the game changed in the eighty-third minute though when William Pauliankhum hit the bottom left corner from the edge of the box for Sudeva Delhi FC and Churchill went 1-0 down late on in the game. Churchill tried to get the score level almost immediately in the eighty-sixth minute, but Sachin Jha stretched to deny Komron Tursunov from scoring from a beautiful free-kick.
Five minutes of stoppage time proved somewhat troublesome for Sudeva as their goalscorer, William Pauliankhum was taken off the pitch on a stretcher after a medical intervention. Another hero for Sudeva, Sachin Jha, was injured badly by Savio Coelho late on and got booked for his actions.
However, the game finished with crucial three points in the bag for Sudeva Delhi FC and Churchill Brothers looked visibly disappointed as their troubles in the 2021-22 Hero I League season continued.