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Zaheer Abbas gives Air India victory
April 08, 2007 22:19 IST
Last Updated: April 09, 2007 21:29 IST
A superb header by substitute Zaheer Abbas enabled Air India beat Bangalore league champions Hindustan Aeronautics Sports Club 1-0 in a 12th round match of the 11th ONGC Cup National Football League in Bangalore on Sunday.
The teams were locked goalless at half-time.
The lone goal of the match was scored by mid-fielder Abbas, who headed home a high pass from defender Santhosh Koli in the 61st minute.
Though the local lads held control over the ball in the first half they have themselves to blame since they failed in finishing.
HASC should have opened the account in the 20th minute itself but striker Kutty Mani kicked the ball without much power, enabling rival custodian Rajiv Ekka to collect it safely.
The second session saw Air India adopting an offensive approach and tasted success in the 61st minute. Forward Samson Singh, the second leading goal scorer in the league having scored seven goals, missed a clear chance which came in his way within minutes of Abbas scoring the lone goal.
Commotion prevailed for some time during the second half when midfielder Hringsolal Thomte indulged in verbal duel with Bhuvan Joshi and was shown yellow card by referee Shaji Kurian of Kerala.
With this victory, Air India took their points tally to 17 with four wins, five draws, while HASC are languishing at the bottom of the table with six points with just one win and three draws.