South United close in on HASC

Football Super Division: Debutants in second spot with 20 points, two behind Aircraftmen

South United FC drubbed relegated outfit Students Union 7-0 to keep up the pressure on table toppers Hindustan Aeronautics Sports Club (HASC) in the BDFA Super Division League at the Bangalore Football Stadium here on Friday.

The win fired the Raman Vijayan-coached side to second place with 20 points from nine matches, while Students Union finished with six points from 10 matches.

Favourites HASC, who have 22 points from nine games, can regain the title if they win against Karnataka State Police (KSP) in their final game on Saturday. On the contrary, if the Aircraftmen lose to KSP, South United can clinch the championship in their first season with a win over Madras Engineer Group on Sunday.

In case HASC draw their final game and South United win against the Sappers, both teams will be level on 23 points and then South United will emerge champions since they enjoy a better goal difference (+22) as compared to HASC’s (+17).

Faced with a must-win situation, South United attacked from the word go. Midfielder G Vignesh gave a fine pass to Gopi whose shot was parried away for a corner-kick by Students Union goalkeeper Ranjeeth Kumar.

Barun Oraon’s header from close range was deflected away for a corner-kick in the eighth minute as Students Union defence was put under immense pressure.
Ranjeeth pulled off a fine save to thwart Murugappan in the 13th minute. Soon Stephen’s header from a corner-kick came back off the crossbar.

South United broke through three minutes from half-time with a lucky break. Stephen passed from the left wing to Gopi, whose shot was deflected into the net by Students Unions’ Herald.

The goal calmed South United nerves and they added the second in the 49th minute with Gopi firing home from the box. South United were all over the Students Union defence and Ranjeeth was kept busy. Stephen cut into the box and passed to Vignesh who slotted home in the 66th minute. Four minutes later, Stephen got onto the score sheet and soon South United won a penalty after Murugappan was felled by Suhas. Amoes converted the spot kick with ease to make it 5-0.

Substitute Solamalai fired one from the top of the box in the 77th and Amoes completed the tally in the first minute of injury time.

Earlier, a brace each by Rajesh and Sanoj saw defending champions KGF-BEML Sports Club end their campaign with a 4-2 win over bottom-side Department of Youth Services and Sports (DYSS).

Rajesh scored in the 27th and 31st minutes, while Sanoj struck in the  56th and 76th minutes. Sunil (11th) and Kiran (61st) were on target for DYSS. BEML finished with 15 points from 10 games and are in fifth place, while DYSS ended a miserable season failing to garner a single point.

Saturday’s matches: Postal vs ADE (1.15 pm); HASC vs KSP (3.15 pm).

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