Cleiton Double the difference as Red and Gold Brigade clinch first ever win against Hyderabad

Skipper Cleiton Silva’s clutch brace which featured an unstoppable, injury time free kick was the difference maker as Coach Cuadrat and the boys registered their first ISL win of the season and a first victory over former champions Hyderabad FC.

The match began in frantic fashion as the visitors took the early lead via Hitesh Sharma’s close range effort in the 8th minute. However buoyed by the loud fans in the stands and a desire to get back in the game immediately the boys hit back two minutes later as Cleiton pounced on an open net opportunity as opposition keeper Kattimani left his goal exposed after going down saving Borja’s initial shot. With the game tied 1-1 in just the 10th minute and everything to play for the boys took control of the game and pushed for the lead throughout the first half. Borja found himself in another great situation in the 21st minute but his shot was blocked by a defiant Joao Victor in the opposition box. Shortly after at the stroke of half time, Mandar sent in a dangerous cross in for Cleiton, and in his eagerness to get a foot on the ball, he collided with Kattimani. The latter had to be taken off following an injury. With 7 minutes added on both sides played safe and headed into the break level on the scoresheet.

The chances weren’t easy to come by in the 2nd half as both sides struggled to break through with both defences holding strong at the back. Looking to aid Nandha on the right, Coach Carles rang in his first change, introducing Rakip in place of Souvik. Soon after the industrious Rakip managed to find Borja in space but the Spaniard’s shot was well shy of the target. With the prospect of another draw looming, Coach Carles sent Siverio and Suhair on for Mahesh and Borja in order to further influence the game. Siverio almost scored the winner in the 90th, doing ever so well to find Nishu’s ball with a towering header, only for the ball to whiz past the bar. With another 8 minutes added on, it was time for someone to raise their hand up and deliver and deliver did Skipper Cleiton, hitting home from 30 years yet again with a free kick that will be etched in the memories of every Red and Gold faithful for years and years to come. Having snatched a late lead when a stalemate looked inevitable, the boys did well to hold on to the crucial lead to grab the 3 points on the night and remain unbeaten after two games in the ISL.

Coach Carles and the boys will now turn their attention to the midweek challenge in Bengaluru as they look to continue the positive start to the season into Matchday 3.