KOZHIKODE: SBT takes on Viva Kerala in the final of the Royal Challenge State football league at the Corporation Stadium here on Friday. It should be an exciting game, if the clash between the two sides in the preliminary league a few days ago is any indication.
SBT had won that thrilling encounter 3-2, and it starts as the favourite, given its experience and the vast pool of talent at its disposal. But Viva cannot be written off.
The young professional side from Kochi has played some enterprising football here and a prestigious title like this would really be a shot in its arm.
In Babu Thunde, a talented Nigerian, the team has a dangerous striker who is also good at creating openings. He has scored four goals in the last two games and Viva needs him to fire on Friday. The hard-working Denson Devadas is another player capable of putting the formidable defence of SBT under pressure.
The bankmen are keen to set their record straight in the domestic competition; they have lost their last two finals (the State inter-club championship recently and the State league last year). With T. Asif Sahir playing as well as he has at any time of late, its attack has looked pretty sharp in this tournament. With stars like Abdul Hakkim, Mohammed Rafi, Abdul Noushad and N.P. Pradeep in their line-up, the bankmen shouldn't be short on confidence.
Titanium finishes third
Travancore Titanium took the third place on Thursday, beating KSEB 3-1 in an all-Thiruvananthapuram encounter, almost the entire opening half of which was played in considerable rain. Titanium was the winner when the two sides had met in the league stage as well and it looked clearly the better side today too.
Ebin Rose, who netted a brace (in the 10th and 90th minutes), and T. Usman (30th) were the scorers for Titanium, while Noushad (40th) pulled one back for KSEB.