Dimapur Utd beat Sangpang FC in error strewn game - Eastern Mirror
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Dimapur Utd beat Sangpang FC in error strewn game

By EMN Updated: Oct 06, 2013 11:51 pm

Staff Reporter

In the end, it felt like a cruel joke. Football matches are not meant to be a lottery circus. It’s the roll of the ball, not of the dice. And yet, Sangpang FC have every right to feel aggrieved and argue that they were dealt a cruel and- only whisper it- an unfair hand on Sunday when they played hosts Dimapur United at the DDSC stadium. Unceasing rain, for two continuous nights and days, had morphed the playing field inside the DDSC stadium into a pond. Only some few days back, the stadium was host to a volleyball tournament and it had left its mark by way of two courts dug right inside the football pitch.
It spelt trouble, even more so, for Sangpang FC whose whole game is based on its short and crisp one-touch passing game. Advantage then, to Dimapur United and its muscular midfield, to employ their favored style of play and launch long balls after long balls into the opposition territory.
The whole style, and ultimately, flow of the play was punctured for Sangpang FC as the ball took a life of its own and started acting on its own terms. Through balls were forced to abrupt halts as it ran into puddles of water, leaving the players either a stride ahead or behind.
Numerous passes were misplaced and mis-kicked, throwing the game completely out of gear. Players slipped and hit the ground, often in comic disposition. It was near impossible to separate the slips and the fouls, and small wonder that there was not a single booking in the first hour of play.
It was always going to be one decisive moment, amidst the comic muddle, that would change the outcome of the game. And the dice rolled in favor of Dimapur United in the 17th minute. A long ball, one among the many, was launched from the left half of the pitch and it found striker Amir outside the box.
Did the Sangpang center back slip or was it the brute strength of the better-built Amir that took him past the defender? We will never know. But after breaking loose of his marker, Amir burst inside the area and drove the ball past the rushing Sangpang keeper Yanger, into the right bottom corner.
Markedly, almost every time the ball was lumped into Sangpang territory, their defense was troubled. Dimapur United boasts of some of the most muscular and speedy players, especially the attackers, in the league.
Throughout regulation time, Sangpang could manage no more than two decent attempts at goal that was enough to trouble the United keeper. And tellingly, both the chances came of free kicks. The fact that Sangpang, a team so committed to the short-passing game, could not string a single proper passing movement tells all that needs to be told of the pitch condition.
Shortly after the break, Amir almost doubled the lead with an outrageous attempt from 35 yards out. With the keeper well beaten, the ball flew tantalizingly close over the cross bar. Another United long ranger struck the bar.
Sangpang players were also completely out-muscled off the ball and failed to physically match their opposition. Exception could, however, be made for the towering Tongpangkokba, the midfield metronome, who managed to stand out once again with an impressive performance.
In the dying minutes of additional time, Sangpang had one final chance to grab a point from the match. A corner kick from the left provided Sangpang at least four or five chances inside the box even as desperate United players lunged and threw themselves to keep the ball off the line.
Three precious points were won as well as lost. There is no shame in that. But we wince at the way it was won and lost. Swimming pools have no place in football pitch.

By EMN Updated: Oct 06, 2013 11:51:50 pm