Aravali suffered another heartbreak, and rued their missed chances, after Aditya scored a last gasp winner to take Shivalik to the top of their pool standings. It was a crucial match for Aravali, who needed atleast a draw to keep their hopes of reaching the semifinals, however they were aware of the threat which Shiva’s star striker Ankit a.k.a “Shakuni” possessed.
The initial minutes were exciting and fast paced as Aravali tried to hit Shivalik on the counter attack. The Aravali midfield was initially shaky defensively, but captain Praful and Sahaj made up for it with some good defending. In the 16th minute, Rishi was released by Apoorv in front of goal, but the Shiva keeper Pratik reached
beforehand to collect the ball. Venkatesh was an omnipresent figure for Aravali, making key interceptions as well as starting attacks on the flanks. The last minute of the first half saw a quick free kick taken by Shiva, which was saved by Soham in the nick of time. The second half began with Shivalik applying more pressure on the Ara defence. A free kick by Vinayak was collected by Soham, while a good shot by Shakuni in the 51st minute was again saved well. Ara immediately countered and Rishi snatched the ball off the last defender to hit a shot towards goal, but was saved by Pratik. Again, in the 53rd minute, a counter saw Rishi one-on-one with Pratik, but he was denied by a stupendous midair reflex save. Aravali did not lose hope, and another good move in the 58th minute got the ball to Nishant, whose shot was poor. Against the run of play, in the 59th minute, a long ball was launched by Pratik over the Aravali defence into the path of Aditya, who made no mistake as he cooly finished past Soham, and wheeled away in delight in front of the sparse Shiva crowd, as the referee blew for full time.
Shivalik continue to remain unbeaten in the tournament, while Aravali have a tough fixture against Jwala up next, and will need a miracle to make it through the pool stage.