Kolkata, Dec 1: The smile was back on Arthur Papas’ face as the Australian coach oversaw the return of Pailan Arrows with a 4-1 dominance of 10-man ONGC FC in the ninth round of the I-league here at the Salt Lake Stadium Saturday.
The developmental side of All India Football Federation (AIFF) bounced back to winning form in the most convincing way as Dipak Devrani, Holicharan Narzary, Milan Singh and Alwyn George fired a goal each to make it the biggest win of the season for the youth side. Eric Brown got the lone goal for ONGC.
For the Delhi-based ONGC, this was the third successive match when they had to finish with 10-men. After its defender Sandeep Sangha (against East Bengal) and midfielder Katsumi Yusa (against Mumbai FC), goalkeeper Prosenjit Ghosh became the third payer to be marched out with a red card.
Ghosh made a serious foul on the Arrows forward Holicharan Narzary in the 54th minute forcing referee Arun Pillai to send the player off.
Arrows were in the scoring mode minutes after the start as Dipak Devrani got the scoreboard ticking with a fine header to send home a Tirthankar Sarkar free-kick in the 9th minute.
The early lead was short lived as ONGC got back into the game in the 21st minute of a brilliant left-footed pile driver from Eric Brown that beat the Arrows ‘keeper Ravi Kumar.
Barely had ONGC completed their celebrations, Arrows re-established the lead with its prolific striker Holicharan Narzary finding the mark of a brilliant solo effort in the 26th minute.
The player showed good ball skills inside the ONGC box as he dribbled clear of the opponent defender Bimal Minz and squared off the latter’s custodian Prosenjit Ghosh before finding the net.
Narzary had two more chances to score in the 28th and 44th minutes but the player lacked accuracy as his first attempt went straight to Ghosh while the second went way wide. Arrows led the first half 2-1.
The second half saw ONGC reduced to 10-men when Ghosh was asked to leave the field as he hacked down Narzary, who had got clear of him and was about to score.
The resultant penalty was converted in the 57th minute by Milan Singh, as the Arrows prepared to exploit the advantage.
ONGC earned a chance to reduce the margin in the 77th minute when David Lalrinmuana beat Ravi Kumar with a nice placement but Arrows defender Souvik Ghosh was on the ball and cleared it from the line to keep the score line intact.
Arrows ended the scoring process in the 84th minute when Alwyn George nodded home a cross from Narayan Das and realised the season’s best performance by the team. After the ninth round, Arrows tallied 14 points while ONGC remained in the relegation zone with five points.