Reliance Foundation Development League Season 3: Intense Action Unfolds As The National Group Stage Kicks-Off

The Reliance Foundation Development League Season 3 has been nothing short of exhilarating so far, with the National Group Stage witnessing intense battles and remarkable displays of skill. Following the gripping Regional Qualifiers, the stage was set for the National Group Stage to deliver even more excitement, and it hasn't disappointed.

The National Group Stage comprises 4 groups of 5 teams each. Each team will be playing against each other once and the group toppers will be going on to the next round to take part in the National Championship where the ultimate battle for the crown will take place.

Kicking off on April 12, it commenced with Group A taking the spotlight. The opening match of the group saw the Goan powerhouse Dempo SC taking on Chennaiyin FC. Only one goal separated the two teams as Dempo clinched the opening encounter with a 1-0 scoreline. That close encounter set the stage for the high-octane clash between Kerala Blasters FC and 2-time RFDL champions Bengaluru FC. Namma Blues clinched the tie in emphatic fashion as the scoreline read 4-1 in their favour. Monirul Molla secured a sublime hat-trick to guide the Blues to the comfortable win.

April 13 saw the table toppers from Regional Qualifiers in Goa being held to a thrilling 1-1 draw by Parappur FC. FC Goa’s Likson Rebelo had put them in front in the 44th minute of the match, but an 87th minute own goal snatched away 2 crucial points from the Gaurs. In the other match of Group B of the day, Muthoot FA and Roots FC held each other to a goalless draw.

Group C & D matches took place on the next day. Both the Kolkata giants, East Bengal FC and Mohun Bagan Super Giant were in action along with the other Indian Super League clubs like Northeast United FC and Punjab FC in their respective groups. The opening match of Group C saw the Red and Gold brigade getting past the challenge of the Highlanders 1-0. Joseph Justin slotted it in from the spot for East Bengal to give them crucial 3 points. In the second match of Group C, absolute drama unfolded as Delhi FC took on Home Missions FC. Delhi FC led by 1-0 till the 82nd minute of the match and looked well set for a victory. However, Home Missions FC had some other ideas. An 82nd minute penalty followed by a top-class finish in the 94th minute by Isac Zomuanpuia ensured Home Missions FC’s incredible comeback win.

There was no lack of drama in the Group D matches as well. Mohun Bagan Super Giants succumbed to a 0-2 defeat in the hands of Punjab while RFDL Season 2 Runners-up Sudeva Delhi FC beat Pax of Nagoa SC from Goa 7-1.

Round 2 of the National Group Stage saw further drama unfolding. In Group A, the match between Bengaluru FC and RFYC ended in a goalless draw, while Chennaiyin FC registered their first win of this stage. The Marina Machans beat Kerala Blasters 2-1 to open their account.

In Group B, Roots FC put up a clinical performance against MYJ-GMSC from Mumbai to beat them 3-0. Muthoot FA, high on confidence after their opening round victory, put the stage on fire with a 8-0 win over Parappur FC.

East Bengal FC maintained their unbeaten run in Group C with a 2-0 win over Adamas United SA. Northeast United, on the other hand, desperate to open their account were held to a 2-2 draw by Delhi FC. Mohun Bagan Super Giant opened their account in RFDL Season 3 National Group Stage with a close-fought victory over Mumbai City FC. All three goals were scored in the first half only, as the Kolkata giants took a 2-0 early into the match. The Islanders did score a goal in the stoppage time of the first half, but couldn’t break through the defence of the green & maroon brigade to salvage a draw. In the other match of the group, Punjab FC maintained their winning run as they got past the challenge of Pax of Nagoa SC by 3-0.

The action intensifies with the matches coming thick and fast. The leaderboard has also started to take shape, but the race for the top spot is far from over. For detailed statistics and daily score updates, fans can refer to the RFDL National Group Stage Season 3 - Daily Score Updates & Statistics mail. You can witness all the drama from the field live on the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports YouTube channel. With matches streamed live, enthusiasts from around the globe can immerse themselves in the thrill of the game and witness the future stars of Indian football in action.