Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bhaichung’s United Sikkim Football Club draws against Sporting Clube-de Goa

GANGTOK, 26 April: Bhaichung’s United Sikkim Football Club [USFC] has started its final round of the second division I-League with a draw in Shillong today. The keenly played match pitted USFC against Sporting Clube-de Goa and ended level at 1-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. A total of eight teams, 6 from the qualifiers and two on demotion from the main I-League, are in the fray in the final round. The top-two teams from the final round will qualify to play in I-League later this year.
Daniel Bidemi earned a lead for Sporting Clube-de Goa in the 27th minute and the USFC equalized from the boots of Beikhokhei in the 34th minute itself. No more goals were scored and regulation time ended with the scoreboard reading 1-1.
Being a very crucial round for the USFC, today’s match was also played by the Indian skipper Bhaichung Bhutia for 85 minutes as stopper even though he is still recovering from an injury. He has really proved a solid stopper for the team and foiled many Clube-de-Goa attacks today.
Bhaichung was also joined by two more players from Sikkim, Nim Tshering and Tshepel Bhutia. The scorer for the team, Beikhokhei, hails from Mizoram.
Speaking over the phone, the USFC senior manager, Arjun Rai, endorsed that the team played well as a unit, with each player delivering on the tasks shouldered on him.
The team reached Shillong on 24 April and was inexplicably not allowed practice time yesterday by the stadium management. The USFC started the final round without the mandatory practice session and only a light warm up today, Mr Rai informs.
The team has still done well, bouncing back from a goal down to draw the match.
Mr. Rai stated as much, highlighting that despite of all the traveling and injuries, the team played very good football even if unable to score more goals in the match today.
Bhaichung’s team also received encouraging crowd support. The crowd might not be as supportive on Friday when USFC takes on Shillong’s home-team, Royal Wahingdoh.

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