Sesa Football Academy failed to maintain the trend of second-round turnarounds Lajong FC and Pune FC had pulled one back after first-round losses at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium on Monday. With a 2-0 loss to Viva Kerala,they slipped to the bottom of the I-League Division II table with two defeats from as many outings.
For the winners,though,it was a much-needed boost,pushing them to the top of the table and helping them inch closer to promotion with the popular two-wins-and-a-draw theory that is considered a minimum for a top-four finish and qualification for the premier division of the I-League. Viva Kerala though,could well have bettered their goal difference,with coach AM Sreedharan ruing their missed chances. We dominated and won but the margin could have been much bigger, said Sreedharan.
And,for all their misses,they had only their foreign hand Badmus Babatunde Ayomide to blame. Sirajuddin C and Sabeeth CS kept flying in the crosses that dipped almost perfectly for Tunde,but he invariably found a way to fumble inside the box. One such fumble as he slipped to fetch Sirajuddins pass,however,was lucky and accounted for his teams lead. Possibly frustrated by seeing so many of their attempts go waste,Sabeeth himself stepped into the danger area to draw the ball and deflect it to the left of Sesa goalkeeper Jason DMello.
For the Goans,their moments in the first half were restricted to early attempts by Savio D Careniro,whose seventh-minute set-piece rebounded off the post and,seconds later,he had Viva goalkeeper Shahinlal Meloly bringing off the save of the match.
If that was the closest Meloly came to being tested,his team on the other hand upped the pressure in the second half,with Shabas Saleel joining the attacking trio of Sirajuddin,Tunde and Sabeeth. Finally,Tunde made amends for all his lapses in the 60th minute with a winning header,but that was his only contribution in the match. He was soon back to his old ways,the worst coming about ten minutes after his strike,when he failed to reach Sabeeths umpteenth pass at the empty far post.