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Sreenidi Deccan FC stay in hunt with big win

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NewsDrum Desk
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Hyderabad, Mar 31 (PTI) Sreenidi Deccan FC extended the title race in the I-League 2023-24 by another week with an emphatic 6-1 drubbing of Rajasthan United at the Deccan Arena here on Sunday.

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Sreenidi Deccan now have 43 points from 21 matches. They are placed second in the points table, six points behind leaders Mohammedan Sporting, who have 49 points from 22 matches.

With three matches in hand in the 24-round league, the Hyderabad side can add a maximum of nine more points to their tally and hope for Mohammedan Sporting to falter in the final two matches.

However, Mohammedan Sporting can enjoy the luxury of having only three points from their next two matches and still pocket the title as they hold a better head-to-head record against Sreenidi Deccan.

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On the day, William De Oliviera (8', 42'), Lalromawia (15', 90+2'), Rilwan Hassan (61') and Lalnuntluanga Bawitlung (86') found the net for Sreenidi Deccan while Pangambam Naoba Meitei (74') scored the consolation goal for Rajasthan United.

Sreenidi Deccan had no margin for error and a win was the only way they could have stayed in the title race. They started accordingly, constantly pressing and haranguing the Rajasthan midfield into ceding possession.

The high press yielded a reward in the 8th minute, when, under pressure, C Lalchungnunga played a ball deep into his own box. The ball fell to De Oliviera and with his first touch, the Brazilian chipped it over a helpless Sachin Jha to give the home side the lead.

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They doubled that lead in the 15th minute via Lalromawia. The winger was played through by a superb through ball from Brandon Vanlalremdika, in midfield and made no mistake even from a tight angle to score.

Rilwan Hassan almost extended that with a phenomenal individual run that bamboozled four Rajasthan defenders, before Jha pulled off a sharp save.

Sreenidi did get their third though, De Oliviera doubling his individual tally of goals in the 42nd minute to take them into the break with a comfortable lead.

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Hassan got his goal in the 61st minute and it was in spectacular fashion too; he scored with a diving header off a corner.

Rajasthan pulled one back in the 74th minute via Naoba Meitei, the forward picking up a long ball and finishing deftly in a sweeping move.

Sreenidi scored a fifth in the 86th minute, a defensive mistake seeing Bawitlung score directly from a corner. Lalrowmawia got his brace in injury time to wrap up an emphatic victory for the hosts. PTI AH AH UNG

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