KOCHI: Jibin Thomas converted a dying-minute penalty kick as Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam, knocked out MPMM SN College, Shoranur 1-0 in front of cheering fans in the TNIE GOAL 2018 all-Kerala inter-collegiate football tournament opener at the Maharaja’s College Stadium on Tuesday.
It was SN College who were mostly in control and created more chances, but Maharaja’s captain Salbin K G, guarding the goal, produced a string of saves to keep his side in the game before Jibin scored. They will now face holders Nirmala College, Muvattupuzha in the pre-quarterfinals on January 27.
The home side threatened early on and saw a gilt-edged chance go begging as Tony Thomas headed wide from close range. Maharaja’s were left to rue their luck as SN College put them under pressure in the rest of the half.In the 15th, Mohammed Jaseel was played through on goal by Suhab T B and came one-on-one with the Maharaja’s goalkeeper, who denied him.A minute later, Mohammed Suhail fed Jaseel, whose shot from inside the box flew wide of the target. SN attacked relentlessly, but the home team held on. At the half-hour mark, Suhab’s pop from the left wing skimmed the net and went out.
Five minutes later though, Maharaja’s almost scored against the run of play, but SN’s centre-back Ranjith S U came up with a goalline clearance. In an entertaining first half, the only missing ingredient was a goal. The second period began exactly like how the first ended -- plenty of close chances. Jaseel was seeing a lot of the ball and he once again tested Salbin, but the goalkeeper again stood firm.
At the other end, Maharaja’s had their occasional chances. Nadeem P H escaped the attention of SN defence in the 54th, but keeper Mohammed Faris, like his counterpart, was in no mood to concede.
Salbin, meanwhile, was bombarded by an array of shots from SN. After the turn of the hour, he saved a Jaseel attempt after Suhab fed him with a cutback.Suhab himself went for goal twice later, but first, Salbin dived to his right to save and then, tipped the ball over the goal.Salbin’s hardwork paid off as Ranjith handled the ball inside the box and referee pointed to the spot. Jibin sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and his team into the next stage.
MIC downs Aluva UC in tie-breaker
Kochi: The second match of the day was also one of late drama as MIC Arts and Science College, Malappuram, scored in the death against UC College, Aluva, forcing a tiebreaker which they comfortably won 4-1. After a goalless first half, forward Dinesh K J had scored for UC College in the 57th minute to make it 1-0. They were headed for a win when the Malappuram College hit back with a late equaliser scored by substitute Mohammed Shafeeq three minutes before the final whistle to make it 1-1. The MIC will now face two-time champions Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur, in the pre-quarterfinals on January 27.