Feisty encounter between Delhi FC, TRAU ends in a draw

Delhi FC 1 (Balwant Singh 47’)
drew with
TRAU FC 1 (Liton Shil 29’)

SRI BHAINI SAHIB: The town of Sri Bhaini Sahib, Punjab experienced I-League football for the first time when Delhi FC and TRAU FC played out a 1-1 draw at the Namdhari Stadium on Monday, October 30, 2023.

TRAU took the lead against the run of play in the first half through Liton Shil, but Delhi clawed back early in the second half, through veteran forward Balwant Singh.

The first half was one of contradiction, as the home side, Delhi FC, who are playing from Sri Bhaini Sahib this season, created most of the chances in the first 45 minutes, but it was TRAU FC, who took the lead into the tunnel.

Delhi began the game with a high tempo as they looked to play off the shoulders of Brazilian forward Hudson Dias. Their seasoned campaigner and former I-League winner with Mohun Bagan, Balwant Singh, was playing in a role that was much different from what he was used to earlier in his career. The 36-year-old was seemed to have a free role, floating across the lines to link up with his teammates.

Delhi winger Hirata looked lively on the right, and created a few chances, as he looked to drive with the ball into the TRAU box. Girik Khosla had a few close shaves from set-piece situations for Delhi, but the attacker was unable to trouble the TRAU  defenders.

It took TRAU some time to get used to the pace of the game, and they soon found their feet after weathering the early storm. Deepak Singh looked on form from the right flank, and a pin-point cross by him was sent wide by Liton Shil, who attempted a rather audacious back volley.

Shil eventually handed the lead to the Red Pythons, when he produced a glancing header off a free-kick by Abraham Okyere in the 29th minute. That goal gave more confidence to TRAU, who started to keep more possession.

The momentum changed again in at the start of the second half, when Delhi head coach Yan Law brought on Arnoldinho in place of Himanshu Jangra, a substitution that immediately worked wonders for the home side, after the half-time break.

Just minutes after the breather, Arnoldinho sent in a cross from the left, as Balwant leapt high to nod the ball in.

Delhi could have taken the lead for the first time, around the hour mark, when Bhupender Singh sent a long one into the box, as Balwant slid in to send the ball goalwards, but it struck TRAU keeper Mithun Samanta’s leg, before trickling agonisingly close to the goal line, and out of play.

Abraham Okyere created a golden opportunity to hand the three points to TRAU in injury time, as he produced some quick feet inside the Delhi box and managed to get a shot away, but it was a rather weak effort, and was collected by Delhi keeper Pawan Kumar.

Also Read: MYJ and GMSC merge to form MYJ-GMSC, all set to dominate Mumbai Premier League

Also Read: Debutants Delhi FC cautiously optimistic on eve of opening tie

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