Kannur stunned host Thiruvananthapuram by a solitary goal to enter the final of the State senior inter-district football tournament at the SMRC Panchayat Stadium on Sunday. Substitute Vaishakan scored the match-winner in the dying seconds of the match.
The host had itself to blame for the defeat as it dominated the match and wasted numerous chances. Kannur was sharp in counter-attacks and it was a fast break from left flank that caught the host defence napping. An unmarked Vaishakan blasted home from top of the box for the winner.
Thiruvananthapuram was wasteful and lacked coordination inside the rival box. Kannur defended well and hardly gave space to host's strikers. The Thiruvananthapuram forwards were also found wanting in converting the half chances that came their way.
The host enjoyed better of the exchanges in the first-half. Captain Mithun Velvet was in indifferent form and wasted a handful of chances which forced the Thiruvananthapuram coach to replace him.
The host muffed an easy chance in the 16th minute when it earned an indirect free-kick inside the Kannur box. But Martin John's shot struck the wall and went out.
Usman wasted another chance at the fag end of the first half when he blasted out from close.
The trend continued in the second-half, but Kannur looked dangerous in counter-attacks, especially in the last 10 minutes, during which it earned two free-kicks.
It was a warning sign which the host ignored and paid the penalty. As the match seemed destined to go into penalties came Kannur's goal.
Thiruvananthapuram grew desperate and pushed all its men into attack, which suited Kannur's counter-attacking game.
A long clearance and a square pass from left saw the ball reach an unmarked Vaishakan, who made no mistake.