February 7: Royal Wahingdoh FC got off to a dream start with a mammoth 9-2 victory over Garhwal FC in their opening I-League 2 encounter at the Railway Stadium in Dhanbad on Friday. The win came after Jackichand’s hat trick and Atsushi Yonezawa’s double strike besides other major contributions. With the inclusion of several new names in the likes of Nagen Tamang, Babatunde, Bhola Prasad, Loveday Enyinnaya, and Nabachandra Singh, the Royals looked a victory-starved side as they made a strong statement.
Wahingdoh got an early lead with a Bekay goal in the 21st minute which was soon followed up by Jackichand’s first five minutes later to go into half time with a 2-0 score. Two minutes upon resumption, Jacki scored his second after piercing the Garhwal defence. New signing Babatunde provided a 52nd minute goal to make it 4-0 for Wahingdoh.
Seityasen Singh, who looked in good form, then joined in the action in the 69th minute to add one to his name. Garhwal pulled one back in the 75th minute to bring down the deficit, although Atsushi Yonezawa responded immediately in the next minute to give Royal Wahingdoh yet another goal.
But just as things were looking positive for the Royals, another goal by Garhwal appeared to give them some hope of a comeback. However, that appeared virtually improbable as Jackichand made no mistake in finding the corner of the net in the 79th to earn his hat trick. Stopper Kimkima and Yonezawa then added a goal each in the 90th and 91st minutes that saw Royal Wahingdoh hand down Garhwal a 9-2 thrashing.
Royal Wahingdoh’s next match will be played against Green Valley on February 10 at 2 pm at the same venue.
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