I League: Indian Arrows begins campaign with big win

Helped by Aniket Anil Jadhav’s brace, the team blanks Chennai City FC 3-0.

 Indian Arrows has shown it can punch above its weight.

Indian Arrows has shown it can punch above its weight. | Photo Credit: Steve Welsh

Life in top-flight domestic football began on a promising note for Indian Arrows as it blanked Chennai City FC 3-0 - helped by Aniket Anil Jadhav’s brace - in the I-League here on Wednesday.

A team comprising the best players from India’s U-17 and U-19 pool, Indian Arrows scored its first goal through Aniket in the 20th minute and doubled the lead when the striker found the net in the 58th minute. Defender Boris Singh Thangjam, who, like Aniket, was also a part of India’s U-17 FIFA World Cup side, added to the tally by scoring in the 90th minute.

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While coach Luis Norton de Matos has called for patience, asking fans not to expect miracles from this young bunch, the team has shown it can certainly punch above its weight.

Costly falters

Chennai City FC had its share of exchanges and scoring chances but failed to capitalise. Jean Michael Joachim was its main culprit as he missed a couple of easy chances. Even as the side tried to control proceedings initially, the Indian colts looked more energetic, coming up with speedy moves from the flanks that caught the rival defence napping.

For the first goal, Boris initiated the move from his half and relayed the ball to Rahul Kannooly on the right, and the latter sent in a cross inside the box for Aniket to unleash a powerful shot that found the roof of the net. Indian Arrows could have doubled the lead eight minutes later but Edmund Lalrindika saw his attempt hit the right post.

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Jean Michael had the best chance to restore parity a minute before half-time when Charles Anand Raj Lourdus from the middle split the Indian Arrows defence and sent in a through. Michael, who had only the goalkeeper to beat, failed to do so. In search of an equaliser, the visitor showed urgency after the change of ends, but the Indian Arrows defence was up to the task.

One-way road

Arrows came up with a counter move which saw Lalrindika latching on a long ball before squaring it for Aniket, who shot home with ease to make it 2-0. Had it not been for Chennai City FC goalkeeper Uros Poljanec’s effort in the 72nd minute to deny the impressive Lalrindika, the margin of defeat would have been even bigger.

Boris rounded off the tally after a quick build-up from the right.

  • Indian Arrows 3 (Aniket 20’, 58; Thangjam 90’) beat Chennai City FC 0
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