Off target KSP held by resolute SAI in dead tie

Off target KSP held by resolute SAI in dead tie

BEML defeat ISRO 2-0

KSP’s Kiran Kumar (left) and SAI’s Aiyappa battle for possession during their match at the Puttaiah memorial football tournament in Bangalore on Monday. DH photo

Despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession, the Policemen failed to pull the trigger at crucial moments as the young SAI brigade held their fort resolutely to come away with a point against their fancied opponents at the Bangalore Football stadium.

The Policemen, looking nowhere near their status as Super Division runners-up, were sloppy at the beginning and littered the field with wasteful passes that hardly tested the SAI defence.

It wasn’t until the 19th minute that KSP made their first foray into the rival penalty box, KSP captain Pradeep BV dribbling from the right and whipping a good cross to Stephen, who shot hit over on the turn.

The Policemen controlled play in the SAI half, but strikers Stephen and Kiran Kumar repeatedly essayed long-range efforts to no avail.

A casual clearance from KSP captain Pradeep nearly cost his side dear when he sold the ball to Kenneth, five minutes from half time.  With only goalkeeper Nagendra to beat, the SAI forward hit the ball tamely to the custodian from 20 yards.

The Policemen did show more intent after the interval, but continued erratic finishing and SAI’s tendency to defend in numbers did nothing to change the scoreline.

Stephen blasted two free-kicks straight at SAI custodian Manjunath, while KSP substitute Karthik fumbled twice from point-blank range. SAI’s Rajkiran burst through on the right from a counter-attack four minutes from time, seemingly determined to punish the cops for their profligacy. With no support coming, the striker held on to the ball for far too long, allowing Alex Praveen to deflect his cross for a corner.

In the day’s other match, BEML coasted to 2-0 victory over ISRO. RC Prakash netted in the 67th minute while Hamza sealed the encounter in the 80th minute.