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I-League: Prayag to face ONGC
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I-League: Prayag to face ONGC

India Blooms News Service

New Delhi, Oct 25 (IBNS): Debris lie around haphazardly. Less than 12 hours after Dussehra and Bijoyadosomi celebrations, Thursday (October 25) morning in the Capital was bound to make you nostalgic.

You drive around and the survived iron rods of burnt Ravana effigies greet you. You turn around, and workers stay busy gathering the bamboos from the Pandals, which till Wednesday morning was all hustle and bustle.

The dip in mercury in the mornings will make you fall in love with Delhi at this time of the year. There’s no fog, but a hint of it; the sun isn’t scorching anymore, rather, it’s lazy. The history of the City, unparallel, bask.

The dew on the grass stayed disturbed at Dilli Gate’s Ambedkar Stadium -- footsteps all over -- skilled feet running all around to kick the ball. You look at the curls of steps, then the haphazard ones, the straight ones and then the trace of the ball rolled on the turf.

It’s preview day. After a gap of a year, I-League is set to kick-off in the Capital once again when ONGC take on Prayag United on Friday (October 26) at the Ambedkar Stadium, the kick-off of which is slated for 3pm. The last time any I-League team played in the Capital was in 2010/11 when Indian Arrows were based in Gurgaon.

There’s no denying Prayag United stay the flavour of the season so far -- a multi budgeted team yet, stitched together by team spirit, devoid of any egos.

“We are ready for the battle again,” Coach Sanjoy Sen said.

“There was a break for the festive season but I feel it wasn’t that long for one to lose the momentum. Ours is a team of professional players and we have to cope up to the situation,” he added.

Prayag sit pretty at the top of the table with two wins from two matches. The good news for them stays striker Ranti Martins is already in a goal rush and the Coach just can’t be more pleased.

“It’s just the start. It’s a marathon league. The opening two rounds can never be any indication of the future,” Sen prophesied, even as he certified: “The ground looks good.”

“ONGC will come hard at us. They are a new team who have played some good football but are looking forward for that elusive win. We need to be cautious,” Sen maintained.

For ONGC, this is a home match. “We intend to snatch at least one point from the match,” echoed Coach Subrata Bhattacharya. “They are a top side but we are ready for the challenge,” he informed. ONGC stay winless so far losing both their first two matches.

Besides Ranti, all eyes would be on Costa Rican World Cupper Carlos Hernandez marshalling the midfield for Prayag.

National Team players, goalkeeper Subrata Pal and defender Gouramangi Singh, sweated it out in the morning practice session. Sen, like any other coach, would not want them to get much involved in the match.

The kick-off is at 3pm (Friday, October 26, 2012).

(Image credit: AIFF Media)

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