South United keep hopes alive

Bangalore outfit notches 2-0 verdict over Hindustan FC for first win

South United keep hopes alive

South United Football Club gave themselves a slim chance of advancing to the next phase of the Second Division I-League with a 2-0 win over Hindustan Football Club here on Wednesday.

SUFC rode on goals from Vinoth Kumar (37th) and Amoes (90+) to secure their first victory from four outings, having lost all their three previous Round I encounters in the eight-team Group ‘C’.

After four matches, the Bangalore outfit now has three points, same as Hindustan while Mumbai Tigers and Southern Samity top the table with 10 points each followed by Vasco SC, who have seven points.

If SUFC manage to win their next three games they will reach 12 points but the Raman Vijayan-coached side will have to hope for favourable results from other matches involving Tigers, Samity, Vasco and Kalighat Milan Sangha FC, who have six points, to know their fate. However, a loss in any one of the remaining matches will mean exit for SUFC.

SUFC will play Tigers next on Friday followed by match a against Eagles FC on Sunday before winding up their campaign with a game against Kalighat on Tuesday.

It seemed yet another off day for SUFC at the start as they almost conceded a goal as early as in the second minute, with Andrea Silva finding the net off a free-kick. Hindustan players started celebrating but referee Melwin D’Costa, who had given an indirect free-kick, disallowed the goal as Silva sent the ball directly into the goal.

SUFC goal then survived a couple of close calls with N’Kuaka Mavula’s glancing header and A Shaji’s volley going just wide. In a bid to score, Hindustan gave more open spaces up front for SUFC forward Stephen, who in a one-on-one with Shantanu Jain, shot straight to the goalkeeper in the 27th minute.

Totally against the run of play, Vinoth Kumar put SUFC in the lead. A free-kick on the right by Chetan Kumar BV beat Shantanu in flight before dropping inside the box. In the melee, Vinoth managed to deflect the ball home with his left foot.

SUFC had the better of the exchanges in the second half and substitute Solai Malai had his close range effort palmed away by Shantanu. SUFC ensured three points in the added time when Amoes slotted home a pass from substitute Mani Vannan, who did the spade work on the left.

Thursday’s matches: Kalighat Milan Sangha FC vs Luangmual FC (1.30 pm); Eagles FC vs Vasco SC (4.00 pm).

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