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Home > Sports > Football > NFL 2002-03 > Report

Haywards Sporting win Div II NFL

April 29, 2003 18:52 IST

Haywards Sporting Clube de Goa and Mohammedan Sporting, Kolkata, advanced to next season's National Football League, finishing first and second respectively in the Seecond Division league finals.

On the concluding day of Second Division league matches in Delhi on Tuesday, Haywards routed Air India 3-0 at the Ambedkar stadium, while Mohammedans rallied from a goal down to beat State Bank of Travancore 2-1 at the Chattrasaal stadium.

Though the two teams ended the four-team round-robin league tournament with seven points each, Haywards pipped the Kolkata side, the second oldest Indian club, to grab the top place on a better goal difference.

They will take the NFL spots vacated this season by the two Bangalore sides -- Indian Telephone Industries and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

Mohammedan Sporting, who came into the match requiring a draw to gain an NFL berth, controlled the game from the outset but had to overcome an SBT goal in the 41st minute and strike twice in the first 20 minutes of the second half to wrest back the initiative.

The bankmen, who were found wanting for the entire first-half, took a surprise lead four minutes before the breather when Abdul Basheer headed in a corner kick floated in by A B Kabeer.

Kowing fully that a defeat would mean another season in the Decond Division, Sporting went on an all out attack and equalised in the 50th minute, converting a penalty.

The award resulted following a handball by SBT full-back Vinu Jose inside the box and ever dependable Dipendu Biswas had no problems beating the custodian P V H Rehman.

Thirteen minutes later, winger Syed Rahim Nabi, who was the livewire of the black-and-white brigade, latched on to a goal kick 25 yards inside the SBT territory and following a one-on-one with Biswas found the net with ease.

The team in all red from Kerala seemed to have resigned to their fate and offered no fight after conceding the second goal, their ninth in three matches.

Even as SBT packed their bags, for another season in the Second Division, Haywards Sporting were blazing away to glory in another match which began simultaneously at the Ambedkar stadium.

The Goans, once again riding on the brilliance of the two Nigerian strikers -- Dudu Omagbemi and Amaechi Tochokwu -- humiliated Mumbai's Air India in a one-sided encounter.

Sitting pretty with a 1-0 lead at half-time, Haywards came back to add two more goals into the Air India net to hand the Mumbaikars, who were down to 10-men by the 78th minute, their third straight defeat in the tournament.

Air India, who were relegated from the NFL two seasons back, also lost to Mohd Sporting (1-2) and SBT (2-4) in the four-team final round.

Omagbemi and Tochokwu went straightaway into the rival area after Air India began the proceedings. But Omagbemi found the going tough as the lanky striker was brilliantly marked by Santosh Kohli and Naushad Moosa.

But Omagbemi, ably supported by Tochokwu, found the way past the road blocks as Haywards took the lead in the 24th minute.

Following a combined move, the blonde haired Omagbemi found Tochokwu, who beat Rajat Guha with a fine placement.

Air India conceded the second goal in the very first minute of the second half and went 0-3 down in the 80th minute.

Setting the ball rolling in the second half, the trio of Peter Pereira and the two Nigerians advanced to the rival box in a flash, with Tochokwu scoring his second goal.



Complete Coverage: 7th National Football League 2002-03 | 2nd Division

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