Principal Correspondent

KANNUR: It was a match that tested the patience of a fairly good crowd at the Municipal Jawahar Stadium here on Thursday evening. The Group ‘A’ encounter in the second E.K. Nayanar Memorial football tournament between Ferroviaria, Sao Paulo, and Sporting Clube de Goa ended in a goalless draw.

After the dullest match yet of the tournament, the Brazilian side and Sporting now share the top spot in the four-team group, with four points apiece from two games. Kerala XI has three points from two matches and its game against Sporting on Friday has become extremely crucial now.

The fourth team in Group ‘A’, Mohammedan AC, Kolkata, is out, after losing both its games.

Neither Ferroviaria nor its Goan rival looked particularly keen to score tonight. It was only in the 18th minute that even the remotest of chances came for either side — Reinaldo’s cross from the right was too long for any of his fellow-Brazilians to make connection.

Ferroviaria got another opportunity, in the 37th minute, but the powerful drive from Robinson Michel, named Man of the Match, was just off the target.

Sporting rarely threatened the Brazilian goal.

In the second half, the Brazilians played with a bit more urgency, but in spite of a couple of decent efforts from Jucimar Lima and Fabrico Stela, their attack lacked teeth. Even more toothless was Sporting, which seemed to be happy playing for a point.

The Goans did try to break through in the last couple of minutes, during which substitute Leo Lobo made two attempts at the goal.

But it was too little an effort too late.

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