Wayanad United forward Issahak Nuhu Seido was prancing up and down on the sidelines during half-time in the Kerala Premier League football’s second-leg semifinal against Kerala United here on Wednesday.
The Ghanaian, the league’s top goal-scorer last season, did not get a start this evening and he appeared hurt and hungry as he warmed up. And his arrival early in the second half changed things as Nuhu Seido’s 74rd minute match-winner gave Wayanad a 1-0 victory over Kerala.
But it was not enough for the home side Wayanad as Kerala, which had won the first of the double-leg semifinal 3-0, entered the final with an overall 3-1 verdict.
Nuhu’s goal was a smart one. Defender Shibin Saad had done the early work for that goal, with a long cross from the left to Gbolo Abdulai on the right which the Ghanaian relayed to his compatriot with a header. Nuhu grabbed the chance, broke away from his markers by running to his left and beat the goalkeeper Pratheesh with a lovely shot.
With a big lead after the first leg, Kerala could afford to sit back and relax. It did not appear to push hard. Wayanad showed some urgency with Arunlal and Muhammed Ameen doing some good work on the right but Ghanain forward Gbolo Abdulai found life difficult with two defenders crowding around him frequently, cutting out the angles.
And after Nuhu gave Wayanad the lead, the home side desperately tried to add more goals in the last few minutes but Kerala upped its defence and a little later celebrated its entry to the final.
The result: Wayanad United 1 (Issahak Nuhu Seido 74) bt Kerala United 0.