INDIA. Delhi: Minerva Delhi kicked off their Delhi Premier League 2022 campaign with a clash against Vatika FC at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi.
Minerva Delhi started on the front foot, keeping hold of the ball and knocking it around in style. During the opening thirty minutes, they produced a few half-chances, but it was not enough to threaten the Vatika goal.
They came much closer to opening the scoring towards the end of the first half an hour. The first real chance came after a neat one-two down the right, which resulted in an excellent cross, but Dipanda Dicka
was unable to control. It dropped for Nikhil Mali at the back post, but his touch proved too heavy.
Then, a few minutes later, another freekick was swung in, and this time a blue shirt was able to get to it,
but couldn’t keep it on target and it went over. Vatika then had their best chance of the match through a fantastic long-range effort, which hit the crossbar.
Towards the end of the first half, Minerva Delhi won a free kick 25 yards out, and Dicka stepped up to take
it. The Cameroonian worked the goalkeeper with a vicious effort, which was parried away by the goalkeeper.
Minerva Delhi was in control and created the better chances, but Vatika somehow held on, and the teams
went into the break with a 0-0 scoreline.
The deadlock was finally broken six minutes into the second half as Arthur Kouassi won a corner from the
left. It was swung in by Karandeep, and Fahad Temuri got on the end of it at the near post with an outstretched right foot. The goalkeeper hardly had any time to react and the ball was in the back of the net. Minerva Delhi took a 1-0 lead.
Vatika tried pushing forward immediately after conceding and also had a couple of attempts, but neither was on target to trouble goalkeeper Suraj Mallick. They also had a free kick that was well-positioned, but Minerva Delhi’s defence was up for the task despite the good delivery.
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