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Durand Cup 2023: Rajasthan United outswim Bodoland FC in Kokrajhar

RAJASTHAN UNITED GOT a win over local side Bodoland FC to kick off their Durand Cup 2023 campaing at a rain-soaked SAI Stadium in Kokrajhar, Assam.

The match saw the newly-improved arena being unveiled to the public and attracted a crowd of almost ten thousand. Bodoland FC, who are based out of that stadium, fielded a strong line-up filled with players who formery played in the Indian top division including foreign players like William Opoku, Ansumana Kromah and Echezona Anyichie.

The game was competitive from the get go, and throughout the first half neither team could break the deadlock, although Rajasthan United created some good chances including some that required goal-line clearances from defenders.

Ultimatey, eary in the second half, Wiliam Neisial scored the only goal of the match. But it can be said that he was assisted by the rain that had started pouring down heavily shorty after kick-off.

Photo Courtesy - Rajasthan United

The pitch had become waterlogged by the end of the first half and players were slipping all over the place. And this played a major role in creating the goal. When the ball was played into the goalmouth from the right, the pitch arrested its movement, which put William in the perfect position to receive it. Bodoland goalkeeper Brahma, trying to react to the cross, slipped. This left William with the entire goal empty to calmly tap into.

Just minutes after the goal, the water on the pitch reached such a high level that the referee had to stop the match. After some time of waiting, the match was re-started, and the players finished the rest of the match cautiously trying not to slip.

The win puts Rajasthan United in a good position to top the group, since Odisha FC, the only ISL team in Group F, have sent a young squad to the tournament.

But Bodoland FC, although they lost, have announced their intent to make their presence felt in the national level and showed that they are able to hang with teams from the top two divisions.

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