Principal Correspondent

KOZHIKODE: Viva Kerala made a perfect a start to its campaign in the Royal Challenge State football league, thrashing Cochin Port Trust 4-0 on an unbearably hot Saturday evening at the Corporation Stadium.

Viva turned the heat on its rival right from the word go in this mismatch between the two Kochi sides. The opening half belonged entirely to Viva, which led 2-0 at the end of it. Denson Devadas opened the scoring in the 12th minute, firing in from close in after receiving a fine pass from Mohammed Muneer down the left. Denson in fact had an excellent game, creating many openings, but his colleagues up front mostly let him down; if they hadn't, Viva would've done by an even bigger margin.

He played a part in Viva's second goal too, as M. Shyju's header, which found the net, had come off a deflection of the post from his attempt with the head from the edge of the left box. That was in the 29th minute.

The first few minutes in the second half saw Port Trust showing some urgency and even broke through the Viva defence on quite a few occasions. But their strikers seemed to be engaged in a contest to find who could miss the target most times and who could put the ball widest from the post. Shameer could stake claim for at least one of the first prizes.

Viva went 3-0 ahead in the 76th minute, through Manoharan, who made good use of a cross from Shine Raj on the right flank. Three minutes later, Shine himself scored, after receiving an excellent pass from Mohammed Muneer.

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