Calcutta: Prayag United Sports Club edged past an energetic yet inexperienced Pailan Arrows 2-1 in an I-League encounter, at the Salt Lake Stadium, on Sunday.
After CK Vineeth put the expensively-assembled United side 1-0 up in the 12th minute, Arrows raised hopes of snatching a point when 18-year-old Narayan Das' brilliant header hit the back of the net five minutes before close. But some poor defending by the youngsters enabled Lalkamal Bhowmick to hit the bullseye two minutes later.
With this win, United SC are now second in the standings with 13 points from six matches. Arrows are in the seventh position with eight points from six matches.
United Sports Club were expected to have cakewalk on Sunday, especially after their 'perfect 10' against United Sikkim Football Club the other day. But what transpired was something completely different. Arrows refused to give even an inch to United.
Ranty Martins, who scored five last Saturday, was not given any space by the likes of Souvik Ghosh, Prabir Das and Milan Singh. Also when Prayag pressed forward, time and again United midfield was found napping. That put extra pressure on the United back-four.
"Our midfield was a bit cagey today. The co-ordination between the back-four and the midfield was missing. Our rivals were much more fitter and organised on the field," United coach Dutchman Eelco Schattorie was candid in the post-match media conference. "I am absolutely happy to get full points," a relieved Eelco said.