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Mahindra score hard-fought win over JCT
March 24, 2007 21:07 IST
Defending champions Mahindra United kept their winning momentum going with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over JCT in a National Football
League match at the Nehru stadium in Margao, Goa, on Saturday.
Yusif Yakubu (7th), Mbaka Dady (21st) and substitute Pomeyie Mensah scored for the winners, while Sunil Chetri (11th) and Edeh Chidi (17th) accounted for JCT's goals.
Mahindra United, who have 18 points from nine matches, are two points behind leaders Dempo (20 points). JCT remain on nine points from nine matches.
Mahindra drew first blood in the seventh minute. Yakubu relayed the ball to Steven Dias, on the right, who in turn sent a measured cross that beat the entire JCT defence and 'keeper Karanjit Singh. Yakubu did well to receive the ball back and tap into the net.
A misunderstanding on the part of defender Sur Kumar and 'keeper Sandip Nandy allowed JCT to equalise in the 11th minute.
Edeh, who posed a constant threat to Mahindra's defence trapped the ball on the right, sprinted down and floated it. Kumar did not intercept it thinking Nandy would. Sunil Chetri, who was behind Kumar, intercepted the ball and beat the onrushing Nandy with a deft placement.
Nandy, who was not at his best, fumbled in the 17th minute, failing to collect a powerful shot from Chidi. The ball spilled from his hands and entered the net.
The goal spurred JCT and they took control over the proceedings thereafter. They made moves mostly from the right with Edeh Chidi and
Sunil Chetri posing as constant threats to the rival defence and coming close to scoring on a couple of occasions towards the later part of the first half. Nandy, however, did well to keep Chetri from scoring.
Mahindra, who surrendered as the match wore on, equalised in the 21st minute when the Mbaka Dady surprised JCT keeper Karanjit Singh with a 35-yard left footer that found the far corner of the net.
The second half was fought on equal footing. Mahindra, who survived two close shaves in the early part, scored the winner in the 58th minute.
Steven Dias, from the right, sent a cross to substitute Mensah, who beat Karanjit from close.