SPORT

BEML unimpressive in victory

Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Two goals in as many minutes and BEML (Bangalore) was up and running. But then it was the inexperience of the Indian Bank, the Chennai side that looked exposed in the group A opening fixture of the 30th Federation Cup qualifying round that commenced at the football stadium here on Thursday.

The 2-0 scoreline could have been much bigger but for the largesse of the BEML strikers. With the likes of Ghanian Samuel Jackson and Jotin Singh as its strike force the local side could have forged ahead in the first session itself but for its sheer ineptness. If Jotin was slow to react to a cross from the right early on, Jackson ballooned his effort midway through.

Sabir Pasha, the Indian Bank coach on the eve had admitted: “with the entire 18 players being new it would be a tall order” and it was all too obvious. With little precision in its build-up and abysmal punch in its pot shots, the BEML defence was really not tested, barring twice.

A needless charge by BEML custodian Rajan left his goalmouth open, but fortunately, Elamurugan failed to direct his shot from just outside the box and on the second occasion Fredy shook the woodwork with a stinging shot from 40 yards out but it deflected off the near upright, both in the second half.

After a listless first session, the action did pick up in the second half with the Earth Movers showing urgency and the skilful Gopi and versatile Md. Khalandar moving up well. In the 60th minute, the ball was chipped into the box from the left and Khalandar rose well for a glancing header into the far corner.

A minute after the restart Gopi got a loose ball from just inside the bank half and moved a few paces before unleashing a stiff grounder which caught Dayshankar, manning the Chennai side’s goal unawares and lodged at the far corner of the net.

BEML which would meet Goa’s Salgaocar SC in its next encounter will have to do a lot better than Thursday’s showing to advance further.

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