DELHI FC HAVE ENTERED the final of the 2nd Division League Qualifiers being held by Football Delhi.
The club which topped the group A in the first round with the highest goal difference in the tournament went up against another undefeated team in the first semi-final. Royal Rangers FC had finished second in the group B, and aimed to pose the first major challenge to Delhi FC's campaign.
However, it was Delhi FC who began on a stronger foot. Ekomobong Victor Philip was highly effective against the Royal Rangers defence and got his first goal less than 10 minutes into the game. Delhi FC kept up the attacks and Victor kept finding the net every ten minutes or so, and half an hour into the game he had completed his hat-trick with Delhi FC leading 3-0.
Before the first half was over, Sergio Barboza too had got his name on the scoreboard. In the second half, with Delhi FC sitting on a lead of 4-0, the game seemed to be all but over. But Royal Rangers had no plan to give up and just before the hour mark, their relentless second half attacks started bearing fruit.
Safila Makanino scored twice with just a minute between the goals. And just a few minutes later Aman Thapa also scored. All of a sudden, Royal Rangers were back in the game, with Delhi FC's 4-3 lead looking utterly shaky. A nerve wrecking exchange of back and forth attacks ensued between the two teams as Royal Rangers tried to find that all-important equalizer and Delhi FC sought to put back some cushion under their lead.
About 75 minutes in, it was Delhi FC who delivered under pressure. Ceesay scored the decisive goal of the match and increased his team's lead to 5-3. The two goal gap was enough to sit on for the last few minutes, ensuring that the club would make it to the grand finale.
If Delhi FC manage to win the final they will earn the right to compete in the national stage for the first time, playing in the 2nd Division League, which may be re-branded as I-League Qualifier due to its COVID-19 induced shortened format.