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 April 7, 2002 | 2050 IST

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FC Kochin surprise Salgaocar

FC Kochin, facing relegation to the second division, shocked former champions Salgaocar, Goa, 2-1 to garner full points in a crucial match for the Goa side in the sixth National Football League in Kochi on Sunday.

The Goans, after muffing a couple of chances, were rewarded when Kochin medio Muhammad failed to tackle a clearance.

Denis Cabral took possession and sent in a long through pass to Ambrose in the opponent's territory. The Kochin players, hoping for an off-side call, did not intercept and Ambrose shot home.

But even before the Goans' celebrations could die down, Kochin were awarded a penalty, after Salgaocar captain Coven Lawrence handled a flag-kick inside the box. Kulothungan, who took the kick, beat 'keeper Juje Siddi to draw level at one-all.

Kochin then increased the pace of the game. Bijumon, who put up a sterling display, got possession on the left flank, cut into the box and took a shot on the run, which deflected off Coven's foot into the net, much to the delight of the holiday Crowd, for the match-winner.

The victory was a setback to Salgaocar's aspirations of winning the title. They needed to take full points from this match to stay in the race for homours.

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