New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) Delhi FC emerged champions of the inaugural edition of the Futsal Club Championship defeating Kolkata giants Mohammedan Sporting 7-2 at at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here.
Delhi captain Nikhil Mali was the star performer as he netted five goals, bringing his overall tournament tally to 28 goals. Mali has scored at least three goals in every match in the Championship.
Delhi FC was on the charge right from the start. In the very first minute, Mali tested Mihir Sawant with a ferocious shot at his near post, but the Mohammedan SC goalkeeper was able to parry the ball away.
Soon after, Delhi FC opened the scoring as Peka put the ball into the back of the net, curling it into the top-left corner, beating the goalkeeper all ends up.
Both teams kept pressing high in the initial stages, and as a result, neither side could settle down and gain a firm foothold. Delhi FC kept coming at the Mohammedan goal but the side from Kolkata was able to keep them at bay.
Jayesh Sutar made a big impact on the game for Mohammedan when he came on, as he kept Mali relatively quiet on one end and acted as a launch-pad for the attacks that his side tried to string together.
Delhi FC have been a free-flowing attacking team in this tournament, but Scott Moraes has been a huge asset for the team in the goal as well.
Jayesh Sutar was the man who created the first real chance of the game for Mohammedan, when his shot took a deflection off a defender. However, Moraes reacted brilliantly to parry the ball away. He produced a miraculous double-save as well, this time denying Sherman Vaz in the process.
The Black Panthers pulled level on the 12-minute mark. Jayesh Sutar saw that Scott Moraes was off his line and scored via an audacious chip from his own half. The joy did not last long for Mohammedan SC though, as Nikhil Mali scored his 20th goal of the tournament, giving his side the lead moments before the half-time whistle.
The second half promised to be another humdinger of an affair, as the tie hung in the balance, although Delhi had a slender lead.
It delivered on the promise as neither side gave any space to their opponents in attack. In the 26th minute, Delhi FC got the insurance goal that they were looking for. Rohit Mulchandani smashed the ball into the back of the net with sheer power after Mali laid it into his path from a free-kick.
After that, it was a comfortable ride for Delhi FC as confidence rose with each passing second. Mali scored his second goal of the game in the 28th minute, making it 4-1 for the capital side.