Delhi FC came up with a series of swift replies to rout Corbett FC 5-1 in a Group B encounter in the Hero I-League Qualifiers 2021. Amidst a heavy downpour at the Bangalore Football Stadium, Delhi FC adjusted to the muddy playing conditions to show why they lead Group B. The side from the capital replied to a one goal deficit with a series of goals to take all three points.
Corbett FC put up an impressive performance to keep Delhi FC at bay for the first 45 minutes. However, the Rudrapur-based club failed to keep Delhi FC for long as they equalised in first-half stoppage time. Delhi FC turned on the afterburners, scoring four times between the 75th and 95th minute.
Delhi FC began to work a secure passing rhythm initially and showcased an unspoken understanding between their midfield and attack. Their first break arrived when Anwar Ali’s free-kick, from a dead ball, sailed harmlessly over the bar.
Corbett FC drew first blood in the 12th minute following a rapid counter-attack. This showcased the Uttarakhand team’s ability to switch from defence into attack in a flash. Dispossessing the ball in midfield, striker John Chidi was let loose with a quick through ball, leaving him in a one-on-one with Delhi FC centre back Suraj.
Chidi showed his incredible pace and composure to beat his man by shifting the ball over to his favoured right foot. Looking up, he slid the ball calmly past a helpless James Kithan in the Delhi FC goal.
Delhi FC ‘rain down’ on Corbett FC
The rain continued to beat on the pitch, resulting in a heavily waterlogged field. Both teams were forced to adapt their their playstyle accordingly in an attempt to grab all three points. Delhi FC made the first move, tactically substituting Radhakanta Singh and Fahad Temuri for Willis Plaza and Sergio Barboza Jr. The changes from coach Surinder Singh proved fruitful as the two substitutes nearly brought Delhi FC back on level terms.
Corbett FC did very well to sustain pressure from the capital side for the majority of the first half. However, it soon proved to be too much just before half time.
Since coming on, Willis Plaza was a constant in his side’s attack. In added time, he made no mistake to edge in an inch perfect cross from left winger Nikhil Mali draw level at 1-1, going into half time.
Both teams came out of the tunnels with a renewed hunger. The waterlogged pitch made conditions messy, with tackles flying in either side. Anwar Ali produced a moment of magic with a darting run through the opposition defence. But he was soon brought down for a foul.
What followed was a moment of pure class from Anwar. The defender stepped up to take a left footed free-kick 35 yards from goal that left Corbett keeper Ahamed Asfar dazed. Anwar Ali looked like a force to reckon with.
On his captain’s signal, defender Samuel Shadap came up with his own bit of class in the 88th minute. Lurking at the edge of the box following a Delhi FC corner, the ball fell to Shadap. He produced a first time half volley that rocketed through the crowded box into the bottom right corner.
In the 90th minute, substitute Laiwang Bohham got in on the action. He was ready to volley home a rebound as goalkeeper Asfar fisted out a Samuel Shadap cross, but failed to clear the danger. The floodgates were open for Delhi FC as captain Anwar Ali rounded off the score with another beautiful free-kick, 30 yards out.
This time Anwar went for a knuckleball that dipped and swerved before nestling in the back of the net. Once again, goalkeeper Asfar was left helpless as the ball flew over his head.
With this dominant victory, Delhi FC stay at the top of Group B. They already have one foot in the final round of the Hero I-League Qualifiers 2021. The defeat puts an end to Corbett FC’s qualifying hopes for the Hero I-League this season.
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