The finals of the Kumbra Champions League was held on Saturday, with the match kicking off at 4:15 p.m. sharp.
Contested between MLFC and Charsea F.C., the top two teams in the league stage of the tournament, it promised to be a lively match.
CFC, having gone through the league unbeaten, played with confidence and dominated possession through the first half. The overall technical superiority of the team was evident in their calm and controlled passing of the ball. MLFC meanwhile, playing to its own strengths, looked to hit CFC on the counter every chance they got, moving the ball up the pitch as soon as possible. It was a half of few chances, with MLFC having come closest to scoring with a free kick that just dipped over the crossbar.
With both teams having gone into half-time and looking capable of scoring, the second half was going to be a more open contest. With the ball moving from one goal to another in search for a goal, it was only a matter of time before one team got the opener. CFC capitalized on MLFC losing possession high up the pitch and counter attacked in clinical fashion. Ishaan Saran found Aditya Saksena unmarked in the opposition half, and having wrong-sided the MLFC defense, he was left with a simple one on one situation from which he inevitably scored.
Having scored the goal, CFC were comfortable with withdrawing to their half and frustrating a MLFC side looking in need of some creativity. That frustration came to a head when Manish Chaudhary dived into a reckless tackle in the opposition penalty area, a challenge for which there was only one outcome, a red card. MLFC, already on the back foot having been a goal down, where now also short of man power on the pitch, and it showed with CFC keeping possession at will and controlling the game, leaving MLFC to depend on set pieces and individual runs to have any chance of scoring. CFC continuously capitalized on their one man advantage, defending en mass and preventing the MLFC players from having too many options on the ball. MLFC, looking bereft of ideas, continued to prod and probe a packed CFC defence, looking for any avenue. With so many players committed to attack, all it took was one long ball from CFC to once again find Aditya with little to do except take advantage of a mix up in the MLFC defence and once again find himself one on one with the goalkeeper, and once again, score.
Having all but put the contest to bed, CFC calmly played out the final few minutes, and with MLFC not looking like scoring after that, at the final whistle, were crowned worthy champions.
This write up was submitted by Himmat Singh.