Mahindra United beat FC Kochin

Mahindra United beat FC Kochin 1-0 in a hard-fought 18th round match of the Tata National Football League.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Nigerian Austin Okolo's 21st minute goal helped local outfit Mahindra United beat FC Kochin, Kerala, 1-0 in a hard-fought 18th round match of the Tata National Football League today. With this win, Mahindra have 28 points from 18 matches while FC Kochin are in danger of being relegated to second division, with just 14 points from as many outings. Mahindra found the going tough due to superb keeping by FC Kochin custodian veteran Ali Abubaker. In the 10th minute, the jeepmen's medio Jules Alberto Dias' fine cross was shot over by Okolo. Soon after mid-fielder Bernard's cross went abegging when both striker Okolo and defender S Venkatesh failed to convert. However, Okolo made up for the early misses when he came up with an opportunistic and decisive goal taking advantage of a faulty clearance by a FC Kochin defender. Eleven minutes after half time, Venkatesh's left footer off Jules Alberto cross went wide. Four minutes later, Alberto himself failed to trap a Bernard pass with only FC Kochin custodian to beat. Soon after, the Kerala outfit launched counter-attacks, but their striker V P Shaji's dangerous move was well-cleared by Mahindra defender Tapan Ghosh. In the 66th minute, Okolo's header was promptly fisted over by Abubaker. Ten minutes later, an Alberto header went over off an Okolo centre and with just a couple of minutes to go for the final hooter, Bernard cross was headed over by defender M Suresh. (PTI)