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SBT rally to hold Churchill

April 28, 2005 21:00 IST
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State Bank of Travancore held Churchill Brothers to a 1-1 draw in a 20th round match in the National Football League, at Nehru stadium in Margao, Goa, on Thursday.

However, the point from the match did little to save the bottom-placed bankmen from relegation.

Marcos Pereira put Churchill ahead in the 37th minute after receiving a long pass from Sujay Dutta, as goalkeeper Jean Christian and defender Abdul Basheer failed to intercept.

But SBT, who looked more purposeful in their attack, restored parity in stoppage time of the first half through Abdul Hakkim.

Mohammed Rafi, from the right, centered the ball and as defender Osumanu failed to intercept, Abdul Hakkim chested it and essayed an angular drive to find the far post.

SBT, who were more organised in attack, created more scoring chances in the second half and almost scored in the 76th minute but a timely save by keeper Mark Mascarenhas off Mohammed Rafi from close denied them a goal.

Rafi again had a chance in the dying minutes but he headed over following Mohammed Harris' cross.

Churchill succeeded in the 86th minute through Yusif Yakubu off a combined move between Marcos and Vanlal Rova but Yakubu was ruled off side by referee Pradip Kumar.

The draw put pressure on Churchill, who have 21 points from 20 matches, to avoid relegation.

SBT, at the bottom with 15 points from 20 matches, are sure to be relegated.

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