SUPER CUP

Hyderabad FC leads Group B after defeating Aizawl FC

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Former Indian Super League champions Hyderabad FC started their Super Cup campaign with a 2-1 win over Aizawl FC. Math was on Sunday at the Payannad Stadium in Manjeri.

Manolo Marquez is head coach of Hyderabad FC. He chose to rest a few seasoned combatants, including leading goalscorer Bartholomew Ogbeche. Moreover, provide opportunity to players who didn’t receive much playing time in the ISL early this season.

Former I-League champions Aizawl FC are qualified for the group rounds of the league after overcoming TRAU FC in the qualifier. They appeared to be a determined bunch, ready to put up a fight.

After some early exchanges, Hyderabad FC, who had the upper hand, broke the deadlock in the 17th minute with a counter-attack. It all began when Aizawl FC failed to convert a corner kick. And the ball was cleared by the Hyderabad defence. After receiving the ball, Abdul Rabeeh ran through the Aizawl defence and passed to Australian midfielder Joel Joseph Chainese, who found Borja Gonzalez on the half-turn.

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Borja hammered the ball towards the far post. However, Aizawl FC custodian Vanal Hriatpuia’s extended fingertips saved the first effort only for Chainese to score off the rebound to make it 1-0.

Aizawl FC increased their offensive and briefly equaled the Hyderabad side in ball control. That didn’t help, though, since the Aizawl guys couldn’t turn their efforts into goals.

At the break, Hyderabad FC’s Brazilian midfielder Joao Victor came on as a substitute. He made it 2-0 in the 50th minute when he scored from the penalty spot.

Van Veras equalised for the I-League side deep into extra time in the second half. With a well-taken long-ranger in what was either team’s final offensive attempt of the game.

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