SPORT

Karnataka Police holds MSU

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Madras Sporting Union deserved to win but it was a 1-1 draw that it finally achieved against Karnataka Police in the opening match of the Group IV qualifying round of the NFL second division league at the Nehru stadium on Saturday.

A plucky side in the local league, Sporting displayed a touch of its efficiency with its ball play, speed and superior passing bouts. But for all this the team lacked the sharpness where it required most _shooting. As it happened, the first half was barren and it required a sting from Police's Sameer Ahmed for Sporting to wake up to action. The tall Sameer foraying on the far side, cut into the Sporting end eyeing a cross from Arun Kumar. The defence failed to mark him and Sameer was through to catch goalkeeper Devaraj on the wrong foot.

That 49th minute goal seemed an anti-climax considering Sporting's hard work till then, in particular the inspiring designs that Cleetus and Karthik created in the half-line. Moving with purpose now and jacking up pace, the local lads found the equaliser in just six minutes. Ravikumar initiated the move and Johny gave the parting touch (55th mt). For his individualism, Johny or for that matter the substitute Bharath should have done more. But then miscued kicks at vital moments can be frustrating sights. Bharath and Venkatesan, later in the match were culprits of poorly directed shots, which in the final analysis, proved costly.

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