Hyderabad: Lessons learnt and promises kept. A new-look Fateh Hyderabad Associated Football Club (AFC) did not go home disappointed as they eked out a 2-0 win over Pride Sports FC from Madhya Pradesh in the first match of the I-League 2nd division at the Gachibowli Stadium on Friday.
A technical hitch saw the match kick-off 15 minutes late than the scheduled time. Fateh Hyderabad in blue stripes and white outfit started the game on an attacking mode. Fateh’s first major attempt towards the goal came in the early minutes of the game when a neat cross from the left flank from wing back Manoj Swamy Kannan created a flutter in MP team’s defence but luckily that chance went abegging as none of home side’s forwards were present in the box.
Fateh kept pressing with dangerous raids but Pride FC managed to keep them at bay by clearing the dangerous air balls from the wings.
The first yellow card of the tournament was shown when home side’s midfielder Nitin Jyal went for a rash tackle on a Pride Sports midfielder.
Fateh’s first best opportunity came when midfielder Adam Thomas Mitter, the latest signing from England, missed the target from close.
However, midfielder Adam made amends for his mistake by opening the account for Fateh in the 17th minute as he nicely put a header in the left side corner of the net leaving the Pride FC goalkeeper Sumit Das clueless on the ground.
But the home team ran into rough weather with Nitin getting a second yellow card for his rash tackle and was sent out at the 23rd minute reducing the home side to just ten men.
Pride Sports FC meanwhile made the most of the opportunity as they slowly found the rhythm and got back into the game with midfield game and kept the ball under possession. Their only opportunity came in the 36th minute but only to be squandered by their forward Gaurav Pandey, who made a mess of a perfect lob pass from the midfield. The hasty Pandey drove it past the woodwork.
The second half witnessed a more balanced and confident Pride Sports side holding more possession of ball. They did not allow the Fateh players any opportunity and thereby putting the home side on efensive.
Pride Sports stretched the home team defence but captain Gurtej Singh and Kerala man Abdul Hakku were solid in their clearances.
The tired home side, who were on the back foot because of Pride FC’s relentless attacks in the second half, bounced back and struck their second goal through midfielder Rinreithan Shaiza when he shot past the Pride FC custodian in the 80th minute to put his team on top.
Fateh suffered a blow late in the game when Rinreithan was badly fouled by two Pride FC defenders and was forced to leave the ground on a stretcher.
Fateh next face Mumbai side Kenkre FC on January 27 in Mumbai.