Southern Samity registered a 1-0 win over Chirag United Kerala in the opening Group B match of the 116th IFA Shield 2011-12 at Howrah Municipal Corporation Stadium. The I-League side failed their first match under the new technical director Biswajit Bhattacharya as the second division side came out better against them in every departments of the game.
Chirag went into the game without top players like Anil Kumar PK, Ajayan K and Isaac Boakye were outdone and overrun by the Kolkata side as they found an early goal, through Souvan Chakrabarty that was enough to decide the outcome of the match. Even though the match finished with a respectable scoreline of 1-0, the actual result could have become much more worse for Chirag Kerala if it wasn’t for the Southern Samity strikers who lacked finishing and an excellent display by Sharath K on goal who was also the captain for the evening.
Biswajit Bhattacharya played a midfield with Suman Datta, who received much criticism from the Chirag fans for his controversial role in the dismissal of Sri Lankan coch Nizam Pakir Ali from the team, given the job of supporting the relatively inexperienced defence that lacked the solid Isaac Boakye. Suman began the match well but faded out causing trouble for his own defenders with him straying away from his position.
James Effiong who had failed to create an impression in his last few matches was one of the better players for Chirag in the opening match. He tried to build up attacks from the midfield but lacked support from Vineeth CK who was off colour today and Asif K who did not start the match.
After going down, Chirag came close to scoring on two occasions though Vignesh G and David Sunday. But both their efforts were parried away by Southern Samity goalkeeper Abhijith. In the second half too, Chrales Dzisah couldn’t find the target with his head from a set piece and Gurjinder’s long ranger flew just wide of the goal.
The lose means that Chirag’s chances to progress into the semi finals of the fourth oldest football competition in the world is all, but over. They will now play the B team of Brazil’s Botafogo Football and Regatta SC. In another match of the day, Pune FC and Pailan Arrows played out a 1-1 draw.
CUK Starting XI: Sharath K (GK, Captain), Faisal T, Charles Dzisah, Jagdeep Singh, Gurjinder, Suman Datta, Pradeep Mohanraj, Vineeth CK, Vignesh G, James Effiong, David Sunday
Compiled with inputs from Vaibhav Lampard