Captain Amarjit Singh struck twice as Indian Arrows stunned Kerala Blasters 2-0 to qualify for the main round of the Super Cup football tournament in Bhubaneshwar on Friday.
Amarjit gave Arrows the lead in the 39th minute and then converted from the spot in the 77th minute after Blasters defender Anas Edathodika handled the ball in front of goal, as the youngsters notched up a remarkable win in the qualification round.
Out of the two matches that were supposed to happen on Friday, only one went ahead as Minerva Punjab boycotted their qualifier against FC Pune City earlier in the day.
Read: AIFF’s silence over I-League clubs’ Super Cup boycott is hurting all stakeholders
The Indian Arrows, the developmental side of All India Football Federation, play in the I-League and use Kalinga Stadium as their home venue.
They will now be up against Indian Super League finallists FC Goa on March 30 in the round of 16 match of the main tournament.
Earlier, the first match of the qualification round was, however, called off after former I-League champions Minerva Punjab did not turn up against ISL side Pune City FC.
The situation is set to get worsen on Saturday as I-League sides Gokulam Kerala and Aizawl FC said they will not play their respective qualification round matches against Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin FC.
Gokulam and Aizawl did not turn up for pre-match press conference on Friday.
AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das said Minerva’s decision to boycott the match would harm the game in the country.
“There may be differences (with the clubs and the AIFF) but to boycott a football match because of the differences is crazy and not acceptable. It is not a right move and will harm football in the country,” Das told PTI.
“I would encourage the clubs to compete in the tournament for the sake of football in the country,” he added.
Das, however, appeared to be leaving some room for a rapprochement between the AIFF and the clubs.
Asked if action will be taken against Minerva or any other team which does not turn up for the Super Cup, Das said, “As of now, we are not talking about action but we believe better sense will prevail and the clubs will play football.”
The main round will be held between March 29 and April 13.
The Super Cup is a knockout tournament hosted by the AIFF where top six teams each from the I-League and ISL gets a direct qualification to the main round while the lower-ranked four sides from both the leagues play in the qualification round.