KSEB rallies to beat AOC

KOLLAM MAY 9. Twice in arrears KSEB, Thiruvananthapuram rallied splendidly to beat AOC, Secundarabad 4-2 and enter the quarterfinals of the 5th Municipal Golden Jubilee memorial all-India football tournament at the Lal Bahadur stadium here on Thursday.

Rajesh (21st), Ramesh (42nd), Cleetus (74th) and Bineesh (90th) found the target for the Thiruvananthapuram which had the worst possible start by conceding a goal in the opening minute.

Aravind Kumar gave AOC a dream start as he gave finishing touches to a fine cross from B.R. Sekhar who had advanced into the rival box from the right.

But the early reverse proved to be an aberration as the KSEB began to assert it dominance showing verve and imagination in the midfield where Cleetus was outstanding.

The first 10 minutes saw KSEB striker Rajesh mess at least four clear chances of scoring. However, the striker made amends for his earlier misses by slotting home the equaliser in the 21st minute.

But the joy was short lived as AOC went ahead in the 25th minute through a goal from B.R. Sekhar who connected the, curling free kick taken by Harry Linus, with his right foot. KSEB finally scored the goal it threatened for so long as Ramesh headed in a lob from Bineesh in the 42nd minute.

A freak goal by Cleetus finally burst the bubble in the 74th minute. A foul kick, from just outside the AOC penalty box, by Bineesh graced cleetus' boot before going into the net. KSEB wisely did not slacken the pace and it chose attack as the best way of defending its goal.

AOC pushed more men into attack in search of the equaliser but KSEB withstood the late burst and drove the final nail with a goal in the injury time.

A fast counter attack saw Ramesh release Binoop free on the right with a through ball. Binoop cooly went past the advancing goalkeeper and placed the ball into the open goal.

On Friday, CIL, Bangalore will meet Customs and Central Excise in a first round match. — Our Sports Reporter

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