New Delhi [India], February 5 (ANI): An injury-time equaliser by Sujit Sadhu helped Sudeva Delhi FC nick a valuable point after their 1-1 draw against Round Glass Punjab in their I-League match at the Chhatrasal Stadium, on Sunday.
The result dealt a setback to the visitors' title challenge. Round Glass are now level on points with leaders Sreenidi Deccan, but second on the table on goal difference.
For Sudeva Delhi FC, the deafening sound of the relegation bell will be replaced by a faint scent of hope. Their first win of the season against Rajasthan United days back promised a change in fortune, an uptick in attitude even. That was a victory earned through vigour and courage. Today's point came through sheer luck and an uncharacteristic nervousness displayed by the visitors.
In the opening stages, it looked like Round Glass would roll on and through the home side. In the 12th minute, Aleksandar Ignjatovic's header forced a smart save from Priyant Singh in goal. His parry fell in the path of Luka Majcen who somehow hit the post from four yards. Scoring may have been easier.
And yet, for Round Glass, it was not. With the league inching towards a photo finish, all contenders (and even some pretenders) have been prone to blinking first, the pressure telling in the most unusual of circumstances. Punjab held most of the possession and for all their vigour and toil they created little of note, on either side of the break.
In the 65th minute, Priyant came out to collect an Ajay Chhetri delivery, but having horribly misjudged his lines, left the unmarked Valpuia with the simple task of heading the delivery into the net. The youngster failed to do so.
Staikos Vergetis brought on Chencho Gyeltshen in the 78th minute, hoping for efficiency in the final third. With practicality his first touch the Bhutanese did what his teammates had so far failed to do, releasing Majcen with a brilliant reverse pass. Majcen ran through and delicately poked the ball through Priyant's legs to give Round Glass the lead and seemingly, a foot back in the title race.
There was more drama to come. Sudeva threw the kitchen sink at the visitors in the dying moments of the game, the game resembling a cup final. From a badly delivered freekick, Majcen cleared, badly though, his miskick winning Sudeva a corner.
In that moment Majcen lifted his shirt to his face, knowing that he had created unnecessary pressure at a crucial time. His instinct was correct. Sudeva scored from it, earning themselves a point and also perhaps some hope. (ANI)