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Division 4l, Xpert International
Manager: Sayan44
Country for old men?
Xpert International Cup competition has proved to be a massive disappointment for India, in last few seasons. They were hoping to change that with the takeover of Sayan44. This season India started well with two victories in the first round. But The Legendary were waiting to crush their dream of a good cup run. In the first leg The Legendary totally outplayed India and won the match by a 2-0 scoreline.

Following their first league win of the season, Sayan was looking to make it two in two in a week for the second leg. India went with 3-5-2 formation and possibly their best and strongest line up. Hipólito Marcos started in first team defence for the first time since his introduction to the league. The Legendary went with their predictable 4-5-1 line up. 

The match started and India made it clear about their intention that they will not sit back. India started pressing and soon they were handed an opportunity as Alexandre Salva scored their first goal in 24th minute, only to be ruled out a minute later. A game changing decision possibly. 

Dutu Gãldeanu scored the opener for India inthe  61st minute, which gave the fans something to cheer about. India were still trailing by a goal in agg. scoreline, with less than half an hour to play. The 24 years old versatile midfielder Alexandre Salva of India scored the 2nd for the home team to put India back in the tie. India were suddenly the favourites to win the fixture. However, despite creating so many chances in the last 10 minutes, and in extra time, India were held to a 2-0 scoreline (2-2 Agg.) by The Legendary.

Into the penalties and The Legendary won the toss and decided to go first. Fiorello Scilacci, Jayden Preston, Samuel Asper, Jared McCready scored for The Legendary, while Binyamin Humam, Paulo Balsini, Dutu Gãldeanu scored for India. Penalty shoot out was 4-3 when Chris MacCuish stepped up to take the next penalty for India. He missed the penalty, and India were dumped out of the cup competition.

It was the end of road for India in this season's Xpert International Cup. Later, we caught up with manager to have his say on India's performance:

"I don't have words to express my feeling. The lads gave their best in the field, and we lost. It hurts. I have had heart breaks in X11 with Classic League Cup final defeat, last season's 5th round exit from Super League Cup with Super Kings. But this, I can't explain what went wrong.

"How will I console Chris MacCuish? What will I explain to him? That it wasn't his fault, but the Xpert Gods don't accept a young team with low average age to be victorious? or shall I say, that we shouldn't have gone into extra time had Salva's goal stood. I am disappointed. I need some time alone to think what shall I do next with this team, because it's full of potential but they are unable to show. Is it the game engine failing us due to low average age, or I don't know what really went wrong.

"My head isn't at the right place currently, please leave."

India have played their next league game following that cup match, and drew 2-2 away to Prairie Oysters. But since that cup exit, the manager hasn't been seen talking to the media. It's quite strange to be fair, since he is one of the most active managers in the media outlet.

2019-12-14 11:23 577 Views Reporter: TonyBrazil

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