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AIFF Elite Academy advance to Durand Cup Preliminary Round semis

AIFF Elite Academy

AIFF Elite Academy

Daniel Lalhlimpuia’s second-half hattrick ensured the AIFF Elite Academy U-19 boys a semi-final berth in the Preliminary Round of the 127th Durand Cup, as Goa Velha FC were blown away 3-0 at 3MTR Signals Ground, Goa.

Goa Velha SC, after beating the tournament hosts in their opening encounter, was quickly off the blocks and created some early woes to the AIFF Elite Academy’s defence.

But the wind seemed to be at the back of the AIFF’s side in the opening exchanges as they piled on early pressure creating few promising openings. Milan Basumatary led the way with a pair of efforts, though his first shot went wide and the second rattled the woodwork.

It was the AIFF academy who ended the half stronger with a corner from the left, was cleared to the edge of the penalty area only for Robinson Singh to rifle in wide off the post with a sweetly timed effort.

On to the second half, the game was all safe until 57th minute, when Robinson Singh’s precise pass picked out Daniel Lalhlimpuia around the back of the Goa Velha’s defense. Having got there eventually, he fired a shot across rival keeper into the far corner.

In the spur of the moment, it was again Daniel Lalhlimpuia who found his way into path of Amey Ranawade’s through ball. The attacking midfielder swiftly placed the ball past keeper and double the tally for the AIFF Academy.

The crowd became more alive as claps of thunder echoed from the gallery with an introduction of Hayden Fernandes in the midfield for Robinson Singh. Hayden Fernandes alongside Daniel Lalhlimpuia and Malsawmzuala displayed the essence of tikitaka football, which the spectators were enthusiastically waiting for.

The sixteen year old youth international capped Daniel Lalhlimpuia continued his prolific form and ended the Goa Velha’s day on a sour note by completing his hattrick by notching onto Kamalpreet Singh pin pointed low cross.

In the second encounter, Vasco SC breezed past Gharwal Rifles 3-1 to ensure their berth in the semi-final against AIFF U-19 on October 26 2014 at 8:00 am at 3MTR Signals Ground, Goa.

(Report & Picture courtesy AIFF Media)