: It's the team with the smallest budget among the four professional clubs registered in Ernakulam. But Golden Threads walked away with the Wayna-Cochin Premier League title, the biggest prize in district football, at the Maharaja's Stadium here on Wednesday.
Golden Threads jolted Josco FC, the Kerala inter-club champion, by a lone goal to retain the CPL title. Despite Josco entering the championship with a bigger reputation, it was Golden Threads which appeared the hungrier side this evening, fighting hard and coming up with the crucial strike.
M. Najesh, who joined Golden Threads during the recent second division national league, struck the match-winner towards the end of the first session with a free-kick from the edge of the box that left Josco goalkeeper Sharath confused.
Josco's Ivory Coast striker Doumbia Mamadou had appeared dangerous early on when he sent an angled shot from the left that was racing towards the right corner of the cage. But Threads goalkeeper Jinesh Thomas rose to the occasion smartly and came up with a splendid save.
Josco had a golden chance to score the equaliser a few minutes before the finish. But Sreenath messed up a free-kick from the top of the box, softly shooting over.
“This is our first title this season,” said Anil Kumar, the Golden Threads' coach. “But the ground conditions were not good, so we could not play a fast game. We couldn't play one-touch football.”
Golden Threads, owned by former player S.S. Naushad, who supports the sport in a big way here, had finished runner-up to SBT in a tournament at Valappad in Thrissur three days ago.
“We are a very young side, 90 per cent of our boys are still in college and almost all are below 23,” said Anil Kumar. “And our budget is the least among the other professional clubs here. So, this is a very satisfying victory.”
K.P. Williams, former Kerala star, gave away the prizes.