Threads hold off Titanium challenge

Threads hold off Titanium challenge

Chances go abegging as teams settle for 0-0 draw

Threads hold off Titanium challenge

Golden Threads’ Binu Vijayan (right) gets the better of Titanium Travancore’s Tinson Justin in their I-League Second Division clash on Tuesday. DH Photo

Both Kerala outfits will be cursing their wastefulness up front despite creating some wonderful chances in an oscillating clash at the Bangalore Football stadium.

Threads, needing a win to dethrone local hope Hindustan Aeronautics Sports from the top of the standings, are joint third with Chandni FC on five points from four outings, while Titanium continue to languish at the bottom with just two points from three matches. HASC have six points from four matches.

Titanium, who have been nothing but ordinary in this tournament, kick-started the match determined to bounce back from their poor start. The midfield and attack looked much sharper and they pressed forward continuously, but were denied on many occasions by brilliant glove work from Threads custodian Jinesh Thomas.

The ’keeper produced some fine saves, especially from substitute Prasanth Simon, who otherwise could have had a hat-trick with his darting runs along with medio Cletus.
The duo worked well together in creating spaces and enjoyed some good exchange of passes.

Threads were happy to attack on the counter, but lacked composure inside the danger area. Playmaker Sanju Vennara, who struck Threads’ winner against State Bank of Travancore and a brace against BEML, looked off-colour and it clearly reflected in their play.

Three minutes after replacing injured Ebin Rose, Simon made an immediate impact in the 36th minute when his shot from inside the box was kept out by a diving Thomas.

Four minutes into the second half, Dinraj Kumar stole the ball from the midfield and burst into the box but his decision to move left created a tight angle and his shot caught the outside net.

In the 54th minute, Cletus delivered a superb ball from the left but a lunging Simon missed the header by a whisker at the far post.

As the clock ticked past the hour mark, Threads bombarded Titanium’s citadel repeatedly and nearly scored, but first Ajith Fermin shot wide, and then AA Ashbhai’s curling cross was punched to safety by Titanium goalkeeper Joby Joseph. Sugun Kumar threaded a defence-splitting ball to Simon but luck continued to elude Titanium as the striker’s shot beat an advancing Thomas but rolled wide off the post.

Results: Group B: At Delhi: ONGC: 3 (Babatunde 5th, Bikash Jairu 72nd, Tarif Ahmed 79th) bt Hindustan FC: 0;
Group C: At Tinsukia: Mumbai United: 0 lt to Gauhati Town Club (Akum Ao 13th).