THE SPORT AUTHORITY OF INDIA (EAST) football squad pulled off a thrilling last-minute win over Kalighat MS in their opening match in the Calcutta Football League (Premier Division A) 2015. Held at Barasat, the match saw the Darjeeling-based academy team struggle to keep control of the game but remain resolute in their defending, and reaping the rewards at the end.
Throughout the match it was Kalighat Milsn Samiti who dominated in terms of possession and attacking play. Early in the game, Kalighat's Kallol Pal managed to clear the SAI defence and had only the keeper ahead of him, but failed to score. SAI, however, immediately came dangerously close to scoring from a corner as Sana Sarder's header clipped the woodwork. Kalighat got another great chance to score before half time, and SAI hit the post yet again. The match remained goalless at lemon break.
The second half saw a game of back and forth movement until drama slowly built up over fouls and cards. Towards the end of the game, Sk Asiruddin of SAI got through the Kalighat defence and found the net. Suddenly down by a goal and only minutes of added time left on the clock, tempers flared, and it resulted in a second yellow for Kalighat player Christopher. Down by a goal and a man, Kalighat were thrown off balance and could not recover. The match ended in a 1-0 upset win for SAI.
It was the thrid match in this season's CFL, and so far all matches have been tightly fought. With competitiveness in the league increasing and the CFL becoming a popular local tournament with regular televised matches, the stakes have gotten higher and it is drawing hard-hitting performances from small-team players who are trying to catch the attention of the big clubs. SAI's SK Asiruddin, who won the Man of the Match award for his goal and performance throughout the match, has had a great start to the season, which can turn around his career if he keeps on playing this well.