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Tollygunge escapes with draw

Sports Reporter

BANGALORE: Two penalties. Two goals. Two points shared. In short there was nothing much to write home about the second division ONGC CUP 10th National Football League match between the once famed Tollygunge Agragami of Kolkata and Assam Rifles at the Football Stadium here on Saturday evening.

Tollygunge, which arrived late and played its first match, should consider itself lucky to have pocketed a point out of this encounter against a fleet-footed Assam Rifles team.

Poor shooting

The short and stocky Riflemen showed lots of pluck and perseverance and did run their famed rival ragged with neat short passing bouts. But time and again, the rifleman could not shoot on target.

Tollygunge on the other hand looked out of tune and resorted to some hard tackling to check the marauding rival. A nasty challenge inside the box by defender Abdul Rauf on a speeding Mithun Naha resulted in referee Mohd. Kamil (Delhi) pointing to the dreaded spot from where Naoba Singh made no mistake. The gangling Mithun playing as a striker was targeted repeatedly by the Tollygunge defence and had to be pulled off late in the second session.

Harsh decision

If the 58th minute penalty award for Assam Rifles was justified, the 87th minute penalty in favour of Tollygunge did look very harsh. Following a high ball into the box, Assam Rifles goalkeeper Lokeshwar Singh and Tollygunge's Ugandan striker Bolwe Putu clashed in an aerial duel and the referee once again awarded a penalty. The other Ugandan in the Tollygunge ranks, stopper Adiodun Benga Lawal teased Lokeshwar before slotting in the equaliser.

Tollygunge's Ayan Chowdhary did come up with a few openings but failed to outwit the goalkeeper.

Assam Rifles, which lost to Vasco in its previous tie, has one point after two matches.

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