A resilient Southern Railway held Customs to a 2-2 draw, causing a setback in the defending champion's quest for the St. Joseph's-CFA senior division league crown here on Tuesday.

The first half belonged to Railway defender B. Periyasamy who played a major role in all the four goals that were scored — two by each side. His roller-coaster evening began when he brought down M. Ramesh. The latter converted the spot kick in the ninth minute.

It was also a session of spectacular saves as both goalkeepers took turns to outdo each other. The first of those came when P. Sudhakar's strike was pushed away by a diving Railway custodian Amalraj.

Acrobatic effort

Customs 'keeper A. Arun Pradeep returned the favour with an acrobatic effort to halt D. Kamalesan's shot. Amalraj then flung himself to the left and denied Sudhakar another goal. Railway equalised in the 41st minute after Periyasamy's free-kick from the right was headed home by Rajesh.

Customs took the lead in the first minute of added time when D. Bharathiraja's shot deflected off Periyasamy and found the target. Periyasamy found redemption two minutes later when he headed in a cross from M. Karthikeyan on the right.

The second session began with Railway's M. Elamurugan, receiving a ball on the full, swivelled around for a powerful kick. Arun Pradeep jumped up and pushed the ball over the bar.

Tension prevailed in the 76th minute when Railway's A. John Arul Raja was given a red card by referee R. Palmson Moses for blocking M. Ramesh. The decision, however, seemed to be a little harsh. Railway's Rajesh was adjudged man-of-the-match.

Customs finished its campaign with 20 points while Railway took its tally to 11.

In a first division match, RPF drew 1-1 with Chennai Soccer. Amjad Basheer scored for RPF while S. Murugan found the target for Chennai Soccer.

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