: H. Ameerudeen's goal made all the difference as SAI beat TN Police 1-0 in the St. Joseph's CFA senior division league, at the Nehru Stadium here on Thursday.
In a relatively low-key encounter, with both teams jostling for space in the middle of the league standings, SAI dominated the match as TN Police looked totally out of depth and listless.
SAI made all the moves and created opportunities early on. In the 40th minute, a long ball from the SAI half, through a clearance, lead to a clear run for Ameerudeen.
In a one-on-one situation between him and N. Dhanasekaran, the speed of the forward was enough to outclass the goalkeeper.
The second half started promisingly with P. Murugan and N. Kumar of TN Police trying their best to break through SAI's defence. But twenty minutes into the second half, SAI changed its strategy from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1.
This led to a deadlock where at one point of time in the middle of the second half, there were twenty players in one half. Ameerudeen and the TN Police goalkeeper were the only players in the TN Police half.
Kudos needed to be given specially to the duo of Wayne Antonio D' Silva and S. Kaviarasan, whose constant clearances thwarted any bid by the TN Police forwards to get the equaliser. At the end of the day, the solid defence of SAI made sure that it sailed through.
Even though its approach lacked much flair, it was effective nevertheless.
Earlier in the day, the first division match between DB Annai Youth and Challengers Union ended in a goalless draw.
SAI 1 (H. Ameerudeen) bt TN Police 0.