A super 'sho' on his debut, Japanese striker Sho Kamimura impresses with a late equaliser as the Reds fought back to share the spoils.
The new Japanese recruit Kamimura partnered Friday Gbeneme upfront as interim coach Thangboi Singto looked for his first win in charge. The Reds had a bright start as Kamimura's shot was on target on the 12th minute but the Air India custodian Jagroop Singh was up to the task as he produced a good save to keep the teams deadlocked.
The hosts looked in firm control but were caught unaware as the Airmen surged into the lead on the 17th minute. The hosts conceded a throw-in as the classy Nigerian striker Henry Ezeh slotted the ball into the back of the net from close range.
Stunned by conceding the goal, the hosts shifted gears as they stringed together a number of attacks. The Reds intent finally paid off as debutant Sho Kamimura slotted the ball home neatly after controlling well from a Friday Gbeneme header. The two teams held on till half time with the tie delicately poised and set for an exciting second period.
The second half saw Thangboi Singto bring on Taisuke Matsugae in place of Friday Gbeneme as the Reds had an all Japanese attack as they went all out for a victory. However yet again, the Airmen springed a surprise as Prakash Thorat put the visitors back into the lead.
The crowd played 12th man for the home side as they supported their team from the start to the very end. The visiting side felt the pressure as every substitution by them was greeted by boos all around.
The Reds though, kept on pressing and piling on the pressure as they kept going at the opposition till the very last minute. The home side's intent finally paid dividence as Sho Kamimura once again made short work of a tired Air India defence to find himself one-on-one with the keeper Jagroop Singh before calmly lobbing the ball over him to grab the equaliser in the sixth minute of injury time.
Thangboi Singto's first match in-charge saw a hard working and workman like performance from the Reds as the fought to the very end. The team morale will definitely be bolstered with a good performace at home. However, the name on everyone's lips is of Sho Kamimura, as the debutant impressed from the very start and played a huge role in orchestrating his team's fightback.
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