HAL and ITI evoke nostalga in exhibition match

The two teams who dominated the landscape of Karnataka football from the 1970s to 2000s, put on quite a show on Saturday.

Former players of HAL and ITI met in an exhibition match organized by Bengaluru FC at the Bangalore Football Stadium.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Old foes HAL and ITI faced each other at the Bangalore Football Stadium in an exhibition match that evoked a strong sense of nostalgia.

The two sides, who dominated the landscape of Karnataka football from the 1970s to 2000s, put on quite a show on Saturday as ITI won 2-0. A passionate crowd watched the 'Tussle of the Titans' exhibition clash, organised by Bengaluru FC. It was a chance to see familiar ex-players in action, as both HAL and ITI no longer have football teams of note.

ITI striker R.C. Prakash, who scored both goals said, "I've played for East Bengal, and although their rivalry with Bagan was famous on a national level, for us Bangaloreans, ITI vs HAL was massive. I'm thrilled to be a part of this match. Young boys in my neighbourhood don't understand what HAL versus ITI means. Hopefully, this game will educate them."

HAL's Xavier Vijaykumar could hardly contain his excitement. "When I got the news, I immediately pulled out all the newspaper clippings and slipped into nostalgia,” Vijaykumar said.

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