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Mahindra rally to down SBT

Last updated on: February 24, 2005 20:31 IST
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Mumbai champions Mahindra United rallied from a goal in arrears to snatch a 3-1 victory over State Bank of Travancore in a ninth National Football League match at the Cooperage in Mumbai on Thursday.

The highlight of their victory was a fine brace by Brazilian striker Rodrigo Almeida.

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Almeida scored twice late in the second half after his countryman Flavio Rodrigues drew level for Mahindra, after A B Kabeer had put the Kerala side ahead early.

Mahindra scored their fourth victory from nine matches while SBT suffered their fifth defeat from nine outings in the league.

It was the bankmen who held early ascendancy as they broke through the Mahindra defence. Their first chance came as early as the second minute but Martin John, after receiving a pass from Abdul Naushad, was unable to connect properly.

Five minutes later, Asif Saheer's shot was blocked by Mahindra goalkeeper Sandip Nandy.

But SBT finally tasted success in 10th minute, when a move down the left flank saw Asif Saheer find A B Kabeer in the clear. The last-named made no mistake in slotting the ball home.

The reverse saw the home side launch a feverish search for a reply and they were rewarded in the 36th minute. Almeida put Flavio Rodrigues through and the latter beat goalkeeper Harshal Rahman with a deft touch to restore parity.

Play was mostly confined to the midfield in the second half. But the match came to life at the fag end when Mahindra earned a corner in the 89th minute. Jatin Bhist floated the ball from the corner and Abhishek Yadav timed his jump well to head the ball to Almeida, who tapped home.

Almeida then went on to add another goal in stoppage time, scoring with a pile driver from the top of the box into the right corner of the net.

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