Mahindra United tame Punjab Police

Local outfit Mahindra United's fine run continues as they beat Punjab Police 2-0, to top the National Football League table.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Local outfit Mahindra United's fine run continued when they beat Punjab Police 2-0, after a barren first half, to top the National Football League table at the Cooperage here today. Striker Bala Osman and substitute S Venkatesh were the scorers. Mahindra United and Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) are tied on 19 points each after playing ten matches each but the Mumbai outfit has a better goal difference (plus 7) to ITI's plus six. The first half saw Mahindra miss many chances with their striker Austin Okolo being the main culprit. In the fourth minute of the match, Mahindra defender Khalid Siddique's cross was wasted when mid-fielder Abhishek Yadav's header went over. Five minutes later Mahindra mid-fielder Jules Alberto Dias shot over a rebound but Punjab Police custodian Satish Kumar warded it off easily. In the 23rd minute Okolo's left footer went over and seven minutes later Okolo shot over a Dias pass with just Satish Kumar to beat. In the 35th minute Okolo again was off target from close range while four minutes later the cops made their first good move but their winger Praveen Kumar's try off mid-fielder Vijay Pal cross just missed the mark. Just before half time Satish Kumar effected a good save to ward off Okolo's try. In the 62nd minute the hosts went ahead when Osman scored following a free kick which deflected from Praveen Kumar's legs. Zee Churchill trounce HAL The Ghanian duo, Abdul Ganiyu Saley scored a hatrick and Yusif Yakub scored a brace as Zee Churchill trounced Hindustan Aeronautic Sports Club 6-0 to score their biggest win in the tenth round of the National Football League at the Nehru stadium in Margao today. Zee Churchill, who led 4-0 at half time, scored through Abdul Ganiyu Saley (2nd, 9th, 22nd), Yusif Yakubu (12th, 67th) and substitute Inacio Afonso (85th). Zee Churchill, scoring the biggest win so far, moved to second place behind ITI (19 points) with 18 points from ten matches. HAL, who suffered their worst defeat of the season, remained on 15 points from as many matches. Zee Churchill dominated the match throughout with medio Tejinder Kumar, Aqueel and Roque Bareeto combining well in the midfield and kept the upfront Abdul Saley and Yusif Yakubu busy. Hardly had the HAL defence settled down, Zee Churchill shot into the lead in the 2nd minute. Aqeel Ansari from the middle lobbed the ball over the rival defence where Rustam Sydyov failed to clear the ball. Saley chested the ball and placed it to the far end of the net past keeper Gumpe Rime who came out of his position. HAL, who beat Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan and later held Mumbai's Mahindras to a draw, were a pale shadow today as they failed to function as a team. The early goal demoralised their spirit. With their midfield not functioning, their defence was jittery with the slightest pressure exerted by the rival upfront as they conceded three more goals in the first half. (PTI)