Principal Correspondent

Perera scored the winner in the 88th minute

Chandni’s victory complicates things for Viva Kerala

KOCHI: Down in the dumps after suffering a 3-0 whipping from Viva Kerala in its last game, Chandni FC Calicut bounced back to pull off a 2-1 win over Travancore Titanium in the ONGC second division National Football League here on Tuesday evening.

Surprisingly, Chandni’s victory now complicates things a bit for Viva Kerala, which is looking to grab one of the two final phase berths from the Group ‘C’ here while giving a small boost to the Kozhikode side’s chances of making the grade. After many dull games here, the home stretch sure looks very interesting.

Mediocre affair

The game at the Maharaja’s Stadium on Tuesday was a mediocre affair with few creative or convincing moves. But there was a flurry of activity on the right midway through the opening session with Ebin Rose, who had been pushed from the frontline to the defence, putting Ghananian Enoch Amoago in possession. Enoch advanced and sent a lovely cross to Usman who shot the ball to the left corner to give Titanium the lead.

Chandni had a chance to equalise at the half-hour mark following a corner but goalkeeper Navas tipped Richard Somtochukwu’s shot over the bar. But P.K. Prasoon made no mistake with the following corner, striking with a header. In a small change of strategy, Rajesh Thomas offered a short pass to N.Y. Yahya who then fed Prasoon smartly.

Both the goalkeepers were kept busy in the second session. Enoch first tested Chandni’s substitute goalkeeper Sakeer Hussain with a header and a little later, the Ghananian shot over.

In between, Chandni’s Abdul Ganniy came up with an enterprising run on the left but instead of finishing the job himself, he sent a blind cross to a rival defender.

Match-winner

Just when the game appeared headed for a draw, came Chandni’s match-winner from substitute Joseph Perera who trapped a long cross smartly and banged it in, in the 88th minute.

Chandni, which has a game against group leader Salgaocar, now has four points from three games while Titanium finished its engagements in the five-team league with just one point.

Viva Kerala, which plays Malabar United on Wednesday, has to win the game to progress to the next grade.

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