ICF lifted the AIMA-TFA Shield 2012 here on Sunday after it beat Kerala Police 1-0 in the final. The all-important goal came six minutes into the second half when Shantha stole the ball from Kerala Police’s Tinson on the left and passed to David, who placed the ball in the bottom corner.
Played in front of a large crowd which cheered the local side passionately, the final hardly came to life until the last 15 minutes.
The match, like the semifinals, began slowly with both teams lacking the required imagination to break each other’s defence. The only bit of meaningful action in the first half saw Firoz pulling a left-footed shot wide after breaking clear of the defenders in the box.
The second half, however, saw more enterprising football and David scored in the 51st minute to put ICF in the lead. Shaken by the goal, Kerala Police brought on I.M. Vijayan six minutes later for only his second appearance of the tournament. The 43-year-old almost had an immediate impact on the match as he hit the post around the hour-mark.
The effort by Vijayan, however, was one among only a few clear-cut chances created by the Kerala side as ICF defended resolutely. The local side’s right-back, Suman Raj, was exceptional and went on to win the man-of-the-match award for his performance.
As the match went into the final quarter, it finally began to open up.
Jipson missed a golden chance to equalise when afforded space in the box and he followed it up with a dangerous cross across the face of the goal which was almost converted by Vijayan at the far post.
ICF didn’t sit back either and seemed to have scored the decisive goal five minutes from the end of normal time, but David’s effort was ruled to be from an offside position.
Two minutes later, Kerala Police too had a goal disallowed when the referee adjudged that Firoz had pushed ICF’s Jagan before heading his attempt into the goal.
That proved to be the last chance for the policemen and ICF’s players and staff stormed the pitch as soon as the referee blew the final whistle.
The result: ICF 1 (David 51) bt Kerala Police 0; Player of the tournament: David (ICF); Top-scorer: 5 goals (S. Fredy, ICF).
Keywords: AIMA-TFA Shield 2012