KOCHI: Last season’s runners-up Mar Dionysius College, Pazhanji needed penalty shootouts to defeat a 10-man Mar Athanasius College, Kothamangalam 3-1 and progress to the semifinals of TNIE GOAL 2018 all-Kerala inter-collegiate football tournament at the Maharaja’s College Stadium, Kochi on Wednesday.
MA College had taken the lead in the 20th minute through Fahad Aliyar, but saw their midfielder Fajil S dismissed in the second half for a second caution. Sadik P I finally broke MA’s defence in the 76th minute before Mohammed Shahanas made two saves in the tiebreaker to send MD through.
MD created the first opening as Ashique V V flashed wide in the first minute, but it was MA who were the superior side in the rest of the first half. The Pazhanji college’s defence was finding it particularly hard to deal with Nikhil’s long throw-in and that proved the outlet for the opening goal.In the 20th minute, their defence failed to deal with Nikhil’s throw-in that was headed in by Fahad to give MA a deserved lead. In the 31st minute, Kerala state team player Shamnaz B L had the chance to double their lead, but Shahanas produced a save to deny them.
That save would prove to be crucial when MA were reduced to 10 men five minutes later after Fajil took an early bath. Smelling blood, MD went on the offensive and it required a goalline clearance from Anas S to deny Harris P V after Sadik’s initial effort was palmed away by MA keeper Sherin Stephen. Despite their numerical advantage, MD College failed to create enough openings in the second half and had to wait till the 76th minute to go level after Sadik scored from the edge of the area. The closest MD’s probe for a winner came was when Ashique rattled the crossbar in the final minute of the game.
Their keeper Shahanas, though, rose to the occasion to help his team reach the semifinals, producing saves off Vishnu Manoj and Firshad C A while Shamnaz failed to hit the target. MD College will now face giant-killers St Thomas College, Thrissur in the semifinal after the latter defeated University College, Thiruvananthapuram 2-0 in the other quarterfinal with Benwin P B and Vipin P scoring late in the second half.
Both St Thomas and University College had progressed to the quarterfinals with shootout wins with the Thrissur side beating Kannur University champions SN College and the Thiruvananthapuram outfit overcoming MG University champions Baselius College, Kottayam. After a goalless first half, Benwin opened the scoring with a solo goal in the 78th minute as he dribbled into the area from the left and placed a shot into the far post which went in off the upright. St Thomas put the game beyond doubt not much later as Vipin turned in a cross in the 83rd minute to set up a clash between the two Thrissur colleges.
Mar Athanasius College, Kothamangalam 1-1 Mar Dionysius College, Pazhanji, Thrissur (1-3 in penalties)
Goals: Fahad Aliyar (20’) - Sadik (76’)
St Thomas College, Thrissur 2-0 University College, Thiruvananthapuram
Goals: Benwin P B (78’), Vipin P (83’)