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Durand Cup: Sudeva FC, Kerala Blasters play out 1-1 draw

Md. Ajsal drew first blood for the Delhi NCR based side, but a stunning strike from Mangku Kuki just three minutes later, ensured that both teams split points in their respective opening game of Asia’s oldest tournament.

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Guwahati: Delhi NCR based side, Sudeva FC, played out a draw with Indian Super League (ISL) side Kerala Blasters in a Group D game of the Durand Cup on Friday here at the Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium in Guwahati. 

Md. Ajsal drew first blood for the Delhi NCR based side, but a stunning strike from Mangku Kuki just three minutes later, ensured that both teams split points in their respective opening game of Asia’s oldest tournament.

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Sudeva coach Chencho Dorji made his attacking intentions clear from get go opting for a four-man midfield and a three-man forward line while the Blasters gaffer had no such illusions going in with a regulation 4-4-2. 

Sudeva dominated possession in the first half and had the larger share of attacks but could not press home the advantage. It was then that the Blasters struck against the run of play with barely three minutes to go for the first half to end.

Md. Ajsal received the ball in front of the box and drove in, shooting from near the penalty spot area to beat keeper Kabir Kohli in the Sudeva goal.

The response was immediate. Mangku Kuki received the ball on the right from a quicky taken throw-in in the attacking third, controlled and then cut in to gracefully curl it into the top corner to draw parity. It was a top class finish at any level.

Sudeva continued to dominate possession in the second-half and created more chances but there was a period when both teams sat back and wanted to control possession which might have affected the end result. 

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