Talking Points #HFCATKMB

Indian Super League, Round 19

The 10-man Hyderabad FC side had to settle for a draw after a late goal from ATK Mohun Bagan’s Pritam Kotal cancelled our lead in Vasco, on Monday. Here are a few talking points from this thrilling game…

Down to 10

In a chaotic start to the match, Hyderabad FC’s dependable centre-back, Chinglensana Singh was sent off, four minutes into the game for a pull-back on ATK Mohun Bagan’s striker, David Williams.  With the help of the grit and determination that Manolo’s men have shown on multiple occasions in the past, the team fought back by coming together as a unit to put in energetic shifts all over the pitch.

Sana’s departure in the fifth minute and Asish Rai’s absence meant that Hyderabad were left with only two out of their regular four defenders to play the remaining 85 minutes of the game on Monday. However, Nikhil Poojary, Joao Victor, Lluis Sastre and Joel Chianese worked hard to facilitate Odei Onaindia and Akash Mishra in the back as they prevented ATKMB’s attacking threats through a resilient defensive display.

Scoring twice

Despite being a man down early on in the game, the team’s persistence in attack enabled us to take the lead twice on the night.  Following a loose back pass from Pritam Kotal, Aridane Santana pounced on the chance and sent the ball into the net, past keeper Arindam Bhattacharja and defenders Sandesh Jinghan and Subhasish Bose. Although Hyderabad succeeded in keeping the Mariners away from the goal in the first half, Manvir Singh converted a sublime through ball from David Williams to restore parity for his side 10 minutes into the second half.

Displaying their never-say-die attitude, Hyderabad took the lead once again when substitute Roland Alberg slotted the ball into the goal just a minute after he came into the game. However, the visitors were lucky to get away with a goal that looked offside, two minutes into stoppage time, hampering Manolo’s side from getting their well deserved three points.

Aridane Santana – the captain

Directly involved in both the goals scored on Monday, Hero of the Match, Aridane played his part as an inspirational leader throughout the game. Starting his night with an early goal, Aridane continued to create opportunities and test Arindam in goal. Winning most aerial duels against Antonio Lopez Habas’ men, one of his strong headers turned out to be the assist for Alberg’s goal in the second half. Additionally, he provided great support to the backline and was able to regain possession on several occasions with the help of his burly physique. He will be a big miss for Hyderabad in their crucial clash against FC Goa on Sunday.

Subs and their impact

Known for the effective contributions of their substitutes, Hyderabad’s match against the Mariners was no exception as it witnessed impactful performances from Alberg, Sahil Tavora, Mohammad Yasir, Sahil Panwar and Fran Sandaza.  Scoring his debut goal in the Indian Super League with a smashing strike, off Aridane’s header, Alberg was one of the most influential substitutes for Hyderabad. Tavora, Yasir and Panwar added balance to the midfield as they regulated possession in the front and negated attacking threats at the back. Despite being sent on in the final minutes of the game, Sandaza looked threatening as he jumped high to meet Yasir’s cross but his header was safely collected by Arindam just before the final whistle.

With suspensions and injuries surrounding the final fixture of the league, Hyderabad FC’s squad depth will be tested as Manolo Marquez will rely on a few new names to take charge in the big game against FC Goa on Sunday.

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