In a jittery first semi-final encounter of the Desun Siliguri Premier League, Royal FC came from a goal behind to secure 3-1 victory in a penalty shootout at Milan More Ground on Thursday evening.
Today´s high voltage game kicked off in great pace and Madhur Milan Sangh had their first shot on target in the sixth minute when Sonam Lepcha dribbled past Royal players at the right flank before making a brilliant cross that saw Raja Mullick going in for a header but failed to make a proper contact.
Three minutes later it was Royal FC who earned a free kick and Adarsh Tamang´s take was cleared by Niwesh Rana before Timo could cause any harm who was at the right spot to head the ball in.
Two minutes later Royal FC custodian, Subham Deb Biswas earned a yellow card for his unnecessary tackle on Dewasis Rai inside the box and conceded a penalty. Shubham Sutradhar alias Ela stepped in and made no mistake to send Subham Deb Biswas to the other side.
The goal pumped up the atmosphere which called for an unruly atmosphere in the 13th minute when Royal FC coach Nakul Roy lost his temper following referee´s decision over a free kick. The referee sent him off the dugout area and resumed the match after almost 5 minutes.
Ashis Dewan brilliance at the left flank created an opportunity for Prashant Rai to increase the lead however Prashant alias Bhauchung failed to keep his header on target.
Searching for the equalizer Siliguri Lions became successful in the added minutes of the first half through Rohan Chhetri who headed the ball unchallenged off Lendup Bhutia´s free-kick from the right flank.
An entertaining first half ended in a 1-1 draw.
Royal FC kicked off the second session with more confidence and dominated most of the second half proceedings but it was Dewasis Rai who looked dangerous in the 47th minute. Dewasis Rai received the ball from the left side at the edge of the box before taking his shot that was saved by Shubham Deb.
In the 51st minute, Raja Rai had a brilliant chance to take the lead when a right-wing cross from Lendup Bhutia found him unmarked Raja, however, failed to keep control on ball missing the opportunity.
Both sides searched for the winning goal but failed to break in the defensive line which called for an extra time. Due to unavailability of flood light for the extra time, both side agreed to play seven minute of each half.
The match ultimately was taken to penalty shootout for a tiebreaker.
Royal FC custodian saved two shots for Siliguri Lions to edge past hot favorite Madhur Milan Sangh.
Winning Coach Nakul Roy expressed his happiness and thanked his team who fought hard for the victory. Speaking to Goalie365 Royal FC coach said, “This is the happiest moment for me. I swear i don´t remember when i was so happy before. Six of our key players failed to turn up for the match and I played with just two substitutes. These boys really fought well to fetch us today´s victory that was beyond my imagination."
Mahur Milan Sangh head coach Gautam Guha expressed his disappointment over the semi-final loss and said," It is sad. A sad day...we lost to a team we never expected we will. Boys played hard. But it was the first penalty miss that got me worried. But this is football."
Siliguri Lions emerged victorious in the first semi-final defeating hot favourites Madhur Milan Sangh in a penalty shootout after 1-1 draw.
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