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Salgoacar survive late onslaught

A win against Salgaocar on Tuesday would’ve ensured Viva Kerala an I-League spot.

Written by Express News Service | Gurgaon |
April 14, 2009 12:37:49 am

A win against Salgaocar on Tuesday would’ve ensured Viva Kerala an I-League spot. In their eventual 3-2 loss,they made way for the goans to the top of the league table.

Dominating the first 45 minutes on possession and attack Salgaocar struck in the 24th minute when Frank Seator’s left-footer sneaked in. Seator and Alvito Rodrigues paired for a few attacks that effected some goal-line saves,but the dripping faces were keenly awaiting the breather. Despite the heat settling in,the second half took the goans by surprise with the defenders still feeling unsettled.

For Viva’s Badmus Babatunde,it provided his gone-missing scoring touch. In the 46th minute he kicked home a cross from Shirajuddin C. Taken by surprise,Salgaocar scored twice to lead with a two-goal margin that eventually proved enough.

Salgaocar paid back when Frances Fernandes’s intended cross,with some help from the wind,swirled directly into Viva’s net. They went two-ahead through Seator’s second goal. Babatunde’s pass to Alvito and the resultant goal pulled another back for Viva but they were left ruing the missed scoring chances by Shabaj Saleel,Mohammad Shihab and Shirajuddin.

Salgaocar’s victory,however,undermines the ‘safe’ two-win-one-draw theory adopted by most of the teams for qualification. And if Pune FC and Lajong FC share points on Tuesday all the top four will be tied on seven points without a single of the four assured of I-League berth.

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