SUPER CUP

RoundGlass Punjab FC is defeated in the Super Cup by Kerala Blasters

RoundGlass Punjab FC

RoundGlass Punjab FC (RGPFC) lost 3 – 1 against Kerala Blasters FC in their opening encounter of the Hero AIFF Super Cup 2023. At the EMS Corporation Stadium they contested the match.

Dimitrios Diamantakos, Nishu Kumar, and Rahul K.P scored for Kerala, while Krishnananda Singh netted a consolation goal for RoundGlass Punjab FC.

RGPFC were able to hold possession in the early exchanges and were able to endure pressure from both the pitch and the fans, despite the fact that the host team had a large Manjappada support in the bleachers. The opening chance of the half came for KBFC when Victor Mongil met a Vibin Mohanan set piece, but the defender mistimed his jump and the attempt went wide.

Both sides were attacking with determination, creating opportunities in both halves of the pitch. Juan Mera demonstrated his skill with a single run that fooled two KBFC defenders, but a smart interception from the defender ensured the score stayed 0-0. The KBFC attackers were getting into strong positions, but the RGPFC defence held firm, denying the home side any clear-cut chances.

Dimitrios Diamantakos scored a penalty in the 41st minute to put KBFC ahead. Khaimingthang Lhungdim fouled Saurav Mandal inside the area, and the Greek attacker converted the penalty by wrong-footing the RG Punjab FC goalie.

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In the second half, RGPFC coach Staikos Vergetis substituted Krishnananda Singh for Maheson Singh to shore up the wings. As Krishnananda Singh was hauled down in the 52nd minute, RGPFC had a solid shout for a penalty, but the referee refused to give it. Nishu Kumar extended KBFC’s advantage in the 54th minute.

Saurav Mandal broke down the right side and cut back a cross to the centre of the box, which Sahal Abdul Samad missed but dropped for Nishu Kumar, whose first-time volley reached the top corner. KBFC tried to command the tempo of the game, while RGPFC was determined to narrow the gap. In the 70th minute, Luka Majcen and Krishnananda Singh collaborated for an opportunity, but they failed to convert.

In the 74th minute, RGPFC cut the lead in half. Juan Mera displayed smooth abilities, crossing the ball from the right side to Krishnananda Singh, who finished beautifully to keep the game alive. RGPFC put more pressure on KBFC’s defence in search of an equaliser.

KBFC slowed the game by bringing in Mario Leskovic and Jeakson Singh, while RGPFC brought in Ajay Chhetri and Ashis Pradhan. During a counter-attacking play from Kerala, Rahul K.P ended the game in the fifth minute of injury time by scoring past the RGPFC goalie.

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