Ashfaq inspires Blues to a win

New Radiant started their Ooredoo Dhivehi Premier League campaign with a 3-1 win over TC Sports Club at Galolhu National Stadium on Saturday, thanks to goals by their attacking trio of Ali Ashfaq, Ali Fasir and Adrian Gallardo while Cornelius Stewart scored the only goal for TC Sports Club.

New Radiant were without the likes of Akram Abdul Ghani and Stevan Markovic due to suspension but they were boosted with the return of Ashfaq having recovered from injury.

Stewart went close in the 4th minute but his shot from inside the box was saved by Blues Keeper Mohamed Faisal.

New Radiant’s first real chance of the half fell to Gallardo in the 22nd minute but his attempt went inches wide off the post

At the other end, Ali Nafiu wasted a decent opportunity just around half hour mark when he fired a shot wide from inside the box.

Then on 35 minutes, Ashfaq was unlucky not to open the scoring as his shot from inside the box went inches over the bar before a superb save from TC Sports Club Keeper Kiran denied Fasir in the 41st minute.

After a disappointing opening half, Blues finally broke the deadlock through Gallardo in the 48th minute.

But it lasted mere seconds as Stewart made it 1-1 after receiving a decent cross from second half substitute Mahudhee Ibrahim.

Then on 73 minutes Ashfaq netted a spectacular free-kick to give the lead again for the blues.

Fasir secured all three points for New Radiant in the 81st minute with a brilliant solo-goal down the left side, finding the roof of the net from inside the six-yard box.

In the 83rd minute, Stewart tried his luck from the distance but his shot went inches over the bar.

Ashfaq and Gallardo had further chances to extend the lead but missed the target on both occasions.

Milandhoo will play Club Green Streets on Sunday at 1600hrs.

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