Austin Okolo stars in Mahindra United's narrow win
Nigerian Austin Okolo's 21st minute goal helped local outfit Mahindra United beat FC Kochin, Kerala, 1-0 in a hard-fought 18th round match of the Tata National Football League in Mumbai on Thursday.
With this win, Mahindra have 28 points from 18 matches while FC Kochin are in danger of being relegated to second division, with just 14 points from as many outings.
Mahindra would have won by a bigger margin but the FC Kochin goalkeeper Ali Abubaker thwarted their efforts.
Okolo, after missing quite a few chances early on, came up with an opportunistic and decisive goal taking advantage of a faulty clearance by a FC Kochin defender.
Eleven minutes after half time, Venkatesh's left footer off a Jules Alberto cross went wide. Four minutes later Alberto himself failed to trap a Bernard pass with only FC Kochin custodian to beat.
The Kerala outfit tried to fight back and launched counter-attacks but Mahindra defender Tapan Ghosh did a good job at the back to ensure a Mahindra victory.
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