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Air India stun Mahindra United
April 06, 2006 19:57 IST
Air India won the battle of Mumbai giants in the National Football League, beating fancied Mahindra United 2-1 at the Cooperage in Mumbai on Thursday.
Goals by Nigerian striker Bashiru Muhammad and Paresh Shivalkar gave Air India their fourth victory in ten outings in the league and swelled their tally to 13 points.
For Mahindra, who pulled a goal back in the dying minutes through Jose Ramirez Barreto, it was only their second reverse in ten matches. They have 20 points and are placed second behind East Bengal in the league table.
Air India called the shots right through the first session but could only convert their ascendancy into goals in the 45th minute, when a fine floater from Zaheer Abbas into the Mahindra box saw Bashiru head low past goalkeeper Sandip Nandy's right.
Bashiru had a hand in Air India's second goal too.
Following a throw-in on the right, in the 58th minute, he got past defenders Rauf Khan and Mahesh Gawli and squared for Paresh Shivalkar, who finished in style.
Mahindra tried hard for an answer to those goals and were rewarded in injury time when Barreto scored following a low flag-kick from Surkumar Singh.
They could have snatched a point but substitute S Venkatesh failed to capitalize on a good chance, shooting over the bar from close a minute later.