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Jamshedpur, Sept 19 (IBNS) Take a bow Arthur Papas and his boys in white called the Pailan Arrows.
Not only did they hold five-time National League champions Dempo to a pulsating 1-1 draw, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) developmental side matched their highly rated opponents move by move.
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) developmental side looked the more enterprising in the first half. The understanding between Alwyn George and Milan Singh in the middle of the park was outstanding to say the least.
The duo played some wonderful one twos between them and on one occasion Alwyn almost broke free to score. An alert Subhashish Roy Choudhury came to the rescue for the I-League champions.
In goal, Soren Porei Angamba made a brilliant fingertip save to deny Dempo new recruit Ryuji Sueoka in the 35th minute. The ricocheting ball hit the horizontal.
Arrows got their reward in the 52nd minute through Holicharan Narzary who placed the ball beautifully from an acute angle after Milan Singh had set him up inside the box.
The I-league champions replaced Japanese new recruit Ryuji Sueoka with Koko Sakibo immediately after conceding the goal. A Clifford Miranda brilliance got them level pegging in the 60th minute.
The Goan cut past his marker and controlled the ball expertly to slot home a well placed left-footer.
But Arrows did not give up. Holicharan was unlucky not to have scored his second in the 65th minute when his shot struck the crosspiece.
Head Coach Arthur Papas said: “The match was a big a big challenge us, playing against the I-League champions. I am glad that we played well. This result will give us a lot of confidence.”