Scoreboard timing confusion adds fire to 5-goal thriller

Sikkim Himalayan SC overcomes
Fri, Nov 8, 2019

Star performance from UttamRai as Sikkim Himalayan SC overcomes Gokulam FC

DICHENONGMU&BIJOY GURUNG
GANGTOK:
A brilliant performance by rated striker UttamRai saw Sikkim Himalayan SC overcoming tournament favourites Gokulam FC Kerala 3-2 in a thrilling quarterfinal match of the 39th Governor’s Gold Cup football tournament here at Paljor Stadium.
Uttam scored the first equalising goal in the 43rd goal, made an assist for the second equalising goal in the 57th minute and then applied the coup de grâce in the 64th minute. He credited the victory to the whole team.
“Gokulam FC is a good team, a set side. If we were to defeat them, we needed every player to give their 100% and this we did today. We are happy to reach the semi-final of the tournament,” said Uttam to SIKKIM EXPRESS.
Gokulam FC appeared to be a well drilled team and had fluency in its passes, especially in the dangerous areas. One such pass from the midfield caught the Sikkim Himalayan SC defence napping and LalrinzualaHauhnar raced to score the first goal in the 41st minute.
Two minutes later, Uttam was given space and time in the box and he thundered in the equalising goal.
In the second half, Gokulam FC continued with its organised game and a swift counterattack found Lalliansanga who gave the visiting team a 2-1 lead in the 49th minute.
Sikkim Himalayan FC players did not lose hope and kept on pressing their opponents. Gokulam FC was unlucky when they stitched another fine counterattacking move but the ball struck the Sikkim Himalayan goalpost. Goal at that moment could have demoralised the home team who soon found the equalising goal in the 57th minute from its foreign striker Eugene.
In the 64th minute, Uttam slipped past the defence from a set piece and headed in his second goal which made it 3-2 for Sikkim Himalayan SC.
“I was mentally preparing for this game because if strikers do not score then we cannot win. I scored two goals and made one assist…I am very happy to contribute to the team’s victory,” said the 23-year-old.
As the Sikkim Himalayan SC battled to protect its lead, confusion rose among the spectators when the digital scoreboard showed some 80 minutes of match being played while the assistant match official put up his board showing 5 minutes added time. The time on the digital scoreboard did not match the timings of the match officials and after the final whistle, the Gokulam FC and players strongly protested along with the spectators.
As per the match officials, the game ended in normal time and there was no early finish as misunderstood from the digital score board.
“Electronic board is only for the audience. The match timing runs through the watches of all four officials in the field and me which is known to all the teams”, the match commissioner informed the media.
He informed that the electronic score board was running slow for more than 7 minutes during the second half but the timings recorded by the match officials were running fine according to their calculations.
“As the controversy started, I approached all the four officials in the field and tallied my timings with them and found it to be similar. Then I asked Gokulam officials to show their watch which they denied and started demanding for more extra time. They diverted from the controversy themselves which is not in our control”, said the match commissioner added.
The spectators were unhappy with the confusion and they showed solidarity towards Gokulam FC by cheering them on from the stands.
Golukam FC players thanked the fans in the galleries for their support by walking up to them.
Speaking with SIKKIM EXPRESS, Sikkim Himalayan SC coach Pranay Subba said: “We are very happy to reach the semi-final of Governor’s Gold Cup. This would be our third time in semis and we hope to win the trophy this time.”
Tomorrow, the last quarter-final will be played under floodlights between Mohammedan SC, Kolkata and Army Red on Friday at 5 pm.


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