CHENNAI: Madras Sporting Union is the new champion club of Tamil Nadu. In the final match of the semifinal league, effectively the title-decider, in the Champion Club tournament, MSU edged State Bank 3-2 after trailing 1-2 at the half-way stage here on Monday.
Success came to this old club, currently run by V. Thyagarajan (Customs) and group, after a gap of 67 years.
To some extent luck favoured the winner. Even though outplayed initially and then escaping a penalty when the contest had gone into injury time, the team made the most of the chances. More so, when SBI had only needed a draw to clinch the ‘Universal Trophy’.
The youthful bunch of SBI could not sustain the domination even though Sabeeth and Riju tried their level best. The start was encouraging, Sabeeth finding the mark with a Riju assist in the 11th minute. Riju then put Anish, the other key player, into the scorers’ list (29th minute).
MSU fought back hard. The Ghanaian Samuel Jackson brought succour when he entered the rival end to cause damage (34th minute).
But SBI forward line — thanks to Sabeeth, Riju, Baskar and Sudhakar — looked sprightly. Basheer kicked in a loose ball off a flag kick (47th minute) to help MSU level the scores and Kamalaharan came up with a dream goal (68th minute) to snatch the lead.
Thereafter SBI fought back and Anish won a penalty after Ravikumar’s poor tackling on him inside the danger area. However Baskar’s try was saved by goalkeeper Palmson Moses and SBI virtually dropped the trophy bid there.
Earlier, Arrows FC defeated Tuticorin Port 2-0 (Merwin 29’, Pugalendhi 69’) to take the third place.
S. Kumarasamy, Vice-President, SDAT, gave away the prizes.