"With three rounds still to go, the AIFF youngsters -- with three points from the opening two games -- still have an opportunity to bring their campaign back on track."
Jamshedpur, April 23 - Skipper Udanta Singh led the surge with an impressive hat-trick as Tata Football Academy - registered a comprehensive 4-1 win over AIFF Academy, Navi Mumbai, in a Round 2 encounter of the Under-19 I-League at the J.R.D. Stadium here Wednesday.
The encounter saw the in-form AIFF youngsters undone by a combination of physical prowess, individual brilliance and a fluid 4-4-2 system with a seamless transition from defence to attack which confirmed TFA's championship credentials.
TFA, who drew 0-0 in their opener against East Bengal two days earlier, were quick off the blocks and opened the scoring barely minutes after kick-off. Udanta, getting the better of two defenders at the edge of the penalty area, unleashed an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner to make it 1-0 for the hosts.
The lead was doubled in the 43rd minute when he broke the offside trap with a well-timed run and beat the advancing keeper with a far-post finish.
Later, Udanta shook off his marker with a piece of individual brilliance inside the box and squared the ball across the face of goal for Samrat Chaudhary, who placed the ball into the back of the net in the 58th minute.
The AIFF colts pulled one back in the 65th minute when Shabaz Khan's cross from the right wing forced a full length save by the TFA 'keeper and winger Suman Sarkar was at hand to strike home from the rebound.
The hosts remained undeterred despite conceding and restored their three-goal lead in the 67th minute. In yet another display of dribbling prowess, Udanta took on three players before placing the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net for a well-deserved hat-trick.
As the referee signalled full-time, TFA had recorded their first win of the campaign and provisionally moved up to first place in the standings with four points from two games.
With three rounds still to go, the AIFF youngsters -- with three points from the opening two games -- still have an opportunity to bring their campaign back on track.
In other matches, Shillong Lajong got past Hindustan FC 5-1 at the Tata Sports Complex while East Bengal came from behind to record a 3-2 victory against Sesa Academy at the Keenan Stadium.