Eelco Schattorie's first match in charge of Prayag United turned out to be an emphatic triumph as Ranti Martins and Carlos Hernandez were on song to destroy a hapless USFC side..
Prayag United thumped United Sikkim FC 10-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium with Ranti Martins scoring five goals and Carlos Hernandez getting a brace. Md. Rafique and Malswamtulunga were on the scoresheet as well. Nima Tamang scored the only goal for the away side. This was certainly one of the most one-sided games in the history of I-League after the 14-0 demolition of Air India by Dempo SC where Ranti Martins had famously scored a double hat-trick in the 2010-11 season.
Eelco Schattorie, in his first match after taking charge of Prayag United following Sanjoy Sen’s resignation, elected to start with creative midfielder, Lalkamal Bhowmick playing the role of building up from deep, flanked by K Asif and Carlos Hernandez on either side of him while Malswamtulunga and CK Vineeth being the two wingers.
Meanwhile, Philippe De Ridder, missing the services of the suspended Bhaichung Bhutia, started with Nuruddin Salau as the lone man upfront while Linekar Machado and the diminutive Nima Tamang were expected to be the creative force in the side.
In the third minute of the match itself, Carlos Hernandez had a great chance to give the home team the lead as he got at the end of a fine CK Vineeth pass, and despite lots of space and time to pull his trigger, his shot went hopelessly high.
However CK Vineeth was the architect again as he found Ranti with a great cross, who evaded Anwar Ali with ease and made no mistake by burying the shot with ease.
Just two minutes later, the Prayag defense was caught napping as a hopeful pass played into the box found an unmarked Nima Tamang who took full advantage and put the ball to the right of goalkeeper Subrata Paul.
The game was played at high tempo and it was Carlos again who tested goalkeeper Yoon Tae with a long range effort but the laatter managed to parry it out for a corner.
Ranti had another chance in the 12th minute when Malswamtulunga got at the end of a brilliant lobbed pass from Bello Rasaq and had the time to pick out the Nigerian in the box. However Martins could only hit the left post from close range.
In the 16th minute, from a Hernandez corner, Vineeth did ever so well to keep the ball in play before Bello headed the ball to Martins who had his back to goal. The Nigerian back-volleyed the ball into the net, once again highlighting as to why he is so highly rated in the Indian circuit.
Just a minute later, Malswamtulunga was given the luxury of acres of space on the right after Carlos had picked him up and his low cross into the box just evaded Martins who was man-marked by Anwar Ali.
Ranti Martins and Carlos Hernandez worked up their magic again when in the 22nd minute, when the former showed brilliant vision to backheel the ball into the path of the latter who wasted no time in pulling the trigger with a low drive beating Yoon Tae all ends up.
In the 35th minute, capitalizing on a poor back header by Safar Sardar, who did not see Carlos lurking behind him, Hernandez chipped the goalkeeper who was off the line to score a fantastic goal.
Things turned from bad to worse for De Ridder’s boys in the 39th minute, when Martins completed his hat-trick. It was Malswamtulunga who was the creator as he darted down the right, before a low cross found the hitman who made no mistake as he put the ball in the back of the net with ease.
As the second half was underway, it was more of the same as within two minutes Ranti could have extended the lead as a long ball found him beating Thupden Bhutia for pace but his low dink over the onrushing Yoon Tae only hit the side netting.
United Sikkim, inspite of pressing for a goal could not manufacture any decent goalscoring opportunity. In the 58th minute, Salau could have added his name on the scoresheet after bulldozing through the Prayag defense, but his shot sailed wide of the
United Sikkim had only themselves to blame as Thupden Bhutia’s great throughball from midfield found Munmum Lugun, who wasted too much time, allowing Deepak Mondal to dispossess him with a brilliant slide tackle.
The presence of DG Attivi troubled Bello Rasaq in particular as he often had to sweat it out to clear the danger.
In the 65th minute, Ranti should have got his fourth as CK Vineeth broke down the left and found him with a great ball. However Ranti, who had time to time to set himself before taking his shot, was foiled by a diving Monotosh Singh who had been brought in for Yoon Tae in goal.
The Purple Brigade finally got their first of the many goals of the second half as Ranti took advantage of Yoon Tae flapping at a cross and set up Mohamed Rafique whose shot was toe-poked into the goal by Malswamtulunga.
It was Malswamtulunga again who broke down the right as his shot was saved by Monotosh, but with a favourable rebound, he passed it to Ranti whose shot could not be saved by either the goalkeeper or the two defenders on the goal line.
A Lalkamal Bhowmick through pass from the centre of midfield found Ranti, who evading his marker Linekar Machado, beat the onrushing goalkeeper with ease to score his fifth and Prayag’s eighth of the match.
Things got worse for De Ridder's side in extra time, as Ranti Martins again found himself with lots of space on the left, and intelligently found Md. Rafique with a pass instead of going for the shot himself. Md. Rafique made no mistake and buried the ball with a ferocious right foot drive.
CK Vineeth again characteristically broke down the right and this time his low ball hit Michael Rodriguez but it was that man, Ranti again whose last touch put the ball in the net. However it was later deemed to be an own goal by Michael Rodriguez.
The match ended with a 10-1 scoreline in what would be remembered as one of the most shameful days in the history of Bhaichung Bhutia-owned United Sikkim.
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