Kerala put up a courageous show to earn a goalless draw over Telangana in the South Zone qualifiers of the 73rd Santosh Trophy at the Bharathi Stadium on Monday.
It was Telangana coach Shabbir Ali ‘s strategy that worked like a trick for the team. He had carefully chalked out a plan and asked his boys to concentrate more on saving the goals and the team did the same in a brilliant manner.
Shafique Mohammad and Syed Abbad Anas beat Kerala forwards again and again. Even if they managed to break the defence, Reddi Rajinaidu performed some spectacular saves.
Odisha and Services came out victorious ?? in their respective #SantoshTrophy Qualifiers, but a gritty Telangana held defending champions Kerala to a goalless draw.#IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/1y9QRF4BcC
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) February 4, 2019
Coach Shabbir was happy with the result. “A draw against a champion side of India is always pleasing. I am happy with the start. Kerala had more scoring chances than us but my boys stood the test well,” he added.
Kerala’s coach V.P. Shaji expressed that although the chances were created but converting it into goals was a problem. “There were so many that came our way but they defended well. We wanted to start on a winning note but it was not our day.”
Services posts 3-0 win over Pondicherry
Former champion Services began its campaign with a 3-0 win over Pondicherry.
Pondicherry did a wonderful job of handling the pressure early on but fell back midway through the second session.
Services went 1-0 up midway through the first half, by R. Sudhakaran’s own goal. It did upset Pondicherry but they fought for the most part.
They played the second session in a similar fashion, but Services scored two goals in two minutes and Pondicherry could not recover from then onwards.
“We played the long balls in the first half but, more of ball possession in the second period helped us a great deal. The wingers also penetrated inside confidently,” said Parshuram Salwadi, the Services coach.
Kerala 0 drew with Telangana 0.
Services 3 (N. Herojit Singh 67, Mohammad Danish 68) bt Pondicherry 0 (R. Sudhakaran 42 (OG).
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