Principal Correspondent

The Brazilians improved in the last two games

Mumbai men gave their best in each of their outings

KANNUR: It could well be the skills of Ferroviaria, Sao Paulo, against the tenacity of Air India when the two sides meet in the final of the second E.K. Nayanar Memorial Gold Cup football tournament at the Jawahar Municipal Stadium here on Wednesday.

The Brazilians, who played superbly against Bayelsa United, Nigeria, in the semifinal, start as the favourites. After a sluggish start to their campaign, they showed remarkable improvement in the last two games.

Full of talent

Ferroviaria has come here with some talented players like Washington Luis who was outstanding up front against the Nigerians, Fabricio Stela, Rodrigo Rizo, Juicimar Lima, Frederico Oliviera, Alan Costa, Reinaldo and Dennis Augusto. Interestingly, the team hasn’t conceded a goal yet in the tournament.

Air India has, of course, to blot that record if it has to create an upset on Wednesday. If the Mumbai team doesn’t win, it surely wouldn’t be because of lack of effort. Air India has, undoubtedly, looked the keenest side in the competition.

The Mumbai men have given their best in each of their outings and have often exceeded themselves.

Like the Brazilians, they too are unbeaten.

And in Bashiru M. Abbas, Air India has the sharpest shooter in the tournament. With five goals so far, the Nigerian is the top-scorer.

Paresh Shivalkar, the author of the only hat-trick in the competition, has given him excellent company in the forward line and the duo could give some anxious moments for the formidable Brazilian defence.

A big crowd is expected for the final. Football fans of the town have played a key role in making this tournament a success.

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