Air India rout BMFC
Air India, Mumbai, and Indian Bank, Chennai, collected full points, winning their respective third round matches in the Second Division National Football league at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in Pondicherry on Friday.
Air India drubbed Bengal Mumbai Football Club, also from Mumbai, 3-0, while Indian Bank beat Indian National Football Club, Delhi, by a solitary goal.
The victory swelled Air India's points tally to four from three matches. They had earlier lost to Dempo Sports Club, Goa, in the first round and drew with Indian Bank in the second.
In a well-contested encounter, Air India shot into the lead in the 36th minute when Narendra Meetei, subsituted midway into the first session, neatly headed the ball home off a pass from Steven Dias.
BMFC muffed the chances that came in their way. In the 25th minute, Chima Okerie collected a pass, dribbled past a couple of Air India defenders and unleashed a powerful shot at goal, but an alert Air India custodian, Partha Das, dived to his left and fisted the ball away.
A little earlier Chima had wasted a golden opportunity to score after surviving an off-side trap. He volleyed the ball over an advancing Das only to see it crash into the cross-piece and bounce back into play.
Air India went into the breather leading 1-0. They held a slight edge in the second session but Anthony Fernendes and Tomba Singh were wayward with their shooting.
Chima too had an opportunity to score with only the keeper to beat but made a mess of it and was replaced by Supong in the 81st minute.
Air India increased the lead in the 40th minute. Lanuchuba Imchew tripped Samson Singh inside the box and referee Shaju Kurien awarded a penalty, which was converted by Moosa. Lanuchuba, who was booked earlier, was shown the red-card by the referee, leaving BMFC to play the rest of the match with ten men.
Two minutes from the end, Samson Singh completed the tally when he found the target with a fine shot after running down the left flank.
Bobby Hamilton scores the winner for Indian Bank
Earlier, Indian Bank brightened their chances of qualifying for the first division after defeating Indian National Football Club.
With today's victory, Indian Bank have seven points. They had beaten Bhratri Sangha, Kolkata, in the first round and drew with Air India in the second.
In a lacklustre encounter, the bankmen scored ther all-important goal in the tenth minute, when Bobby Hamilton found the net with a 20-yard right footer. INFC custodian Jasmeet Singh was beaten hands down.
Though INFC dominated the entire first half, with more ball possession, their strikers failed to convert the chances that came in their way with Cassuis being the main culprit.
The bankmen made some quick sorties in the second session, but Jasmeet, who guarded the INFC citadel following a red card booking to their regular keeper in the last match, was very alert to avert any danger.
Second Division National Football League 2001-2002
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