In the absence of David Castaneda, Sreenidi Deccan did enough to beat Rajasthan United 2-1 in their I-League 2023-24 encounter here on November 23, 2023.
The win drew it to within three points of Mohammedan Sporting at the top of the table. Rajasthan meanwhile remain rooted second from bottom.
Despite the teams’ contrast in forms, it was Rajasthan United which struck first, Richardson Denzell slotting home in the opener as early as the third minute of the game.
The goal came off the back of a Sreenidi corner and a rare defensive error from Gurmukh Singh.
Sreenidi Deccan had dominated the early exchanges and after its corner was cleared to the byline near the centre, a fairly innocuous throw-in was played to Gurmukh.
The central midfielder’s first touch was dubious allowing Richard Gadze to apply pressure and topple him in the process. The loose ball fell perfectly for Richardson to slot it into the far corner from inside the box.
Sreenidi’s game started coming together soon after conceding that opener, Eli Sabia and Faysal Shayesteh at the heart of all its work. Its two wing-backs, Jagdeep Singh and Abhishek Ambekar, were relentless going forward and kept pinging the crosses in and Sachin Jha was kept on his toes in the Rajasthan goal.
The equaliser arrived right on the 45th-minute mark, William Alves capitalising on some lack-lustre defending from a corner to pounce on a loose ball in the six-yard box and slitting it home.
Within minutes, Sreenidi had the lead. This time Gurmukh was inducing errors at the other end of the pitch, rising from a long-floated ball by Ambekar to disorient goalkeeper Sachin, who, while trying to catch the ball, fumbled and ended up putting it into his own net.
Sreenidi never let its level drop through the second period, constantly threatening the Rajasthan goal while simultaneously keeping its attackers at an arm’s distance.
The best chance fell to Alves in the 65th minute, his decision to lob the keeper ended up with the ball on top of the net.
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