ebruary 5th, 2020, New Delhi: Garhwal Heroes FC, clinched a thrilling 1-0 win against ATK reserves in the first home game of this 2nd Division I-League season.
The match kicked off at 3:00pm on the dot. Both teams commanded almost equal possession of the ball. But in the 44th minute, Dahir Bala Al Hasan, captain of the Garhwal Heroes scored from an indirect freekick to put the team in the lead just before the start of the second half.
Garhwal Heroes FC, one of Delhi’s oldest clubs, was crowned the champions of Delhi Senior Division 2019-2020, and secured a spot in the exceedingly competitive 2nd Division I-League.
The crowd at the stadium represented a mix of Delhi football fans, and the atmosphere was cheerful on that Wednesday afternoon. The ATK reserves were awarded a penalty in the second half, but the Garhwal Heroes goalkeeper, Sayak Barai, was quick to deny them the chance by executing a flawless save.
Vikas Rawat, Head Coach of the Garhwal Heroes shared his thoughts after the match, “I’m happy that the team was able to hold the game and dominate against a well-prepared team like ATK(r). It would have been great to have scored more goals, but I’m proud of the boys for the way the played in this match, as it was still a tough game for us. However, we have one more critical match this Sunday and we will play with more tenacity and hopefully come out with a positive result again. I’d like to thank Bhaichung Bhutia Fooball Schools, as through them, we have been able to have several young and very talented players in the squad, and we are able to perform at the level that is required in this I-League.”
While the club has participated in the I-League before, this season promises to hold a greater potential for the club, owing to its recent partnership with Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools (BBFS), India’s largest football academy co-founded by Indian football legend, Bhaichung Bhutia. This partnership has not only given the club a sustainable channel for bringing in talented young players from across the country, but also proffered the club access to much needed technical expertise.
With the Delhi Dynamos now moved out of the state, Garhwal Heroes FC are the only club to be representing Delhi in any of the national leagues, which includes the ISL (Indian Super League) and both divisions of the I-League.
For this season of the 2nd Division I-League, Garhwal FC has been slotted in Group A, which will see them competing against the remaining 5 teams- Punjab FC (r), Lonestar Kashmir FC, Rajasthan FC, Jamshedpur FC (r) and Athletic de Kolkata (r). The club’s previous match was against Lonestar Kashmir at Katra, where they drew 3-3. They will now face the Jamshedpur FC’s reserve team on Sunday, February 9th at Ambedkar Stadium. The match will kick-off at 3:00pm and there are no admission charges for spectators.