SBT power past Titanium

Bankmen boost qualification hopes with 4-0 verdict

SBT power past Titanium

Tinson Justin (left) of Titanium tries to check Mohd Aslam of State Bank of Travancore in the I-League second division in Bangalore on Friday. DH photo

After AG Mohammed Aslam put them ahead in the injury time of the first-half, the Thiruvananthapuram-based team found the target thrice thereafter — Aslam (64th), Martin John (88th), Asif Shaheer (89th) — in the second half to go fourth in the league standings.

With two more rounds to go, Malabar United lead the table with eight points, just  above BEML, who have seven points. SBT and Hindustan Aeronautics Sports Club occupy the next two slots with six points each.

Till that injury-time goal from Aslam, neither team had the upperhand as the play was mostly confined to the midfield. SBT, though, had one sitter missed by Shaheer in the 10th minute when the forward shot over the cross piece from close range.

But Aslam made sure SBT went for the break with a 1-0 lead, lobbing the ball over the rushing Titanium goalkeeper Joby Joseph after a chip-in pass from Shaheer.

SBT totally outplayed Titanium in the second-half with good passing and tight marking. Titanium couldn’t hold on against aggressive SBT and crumbled under sustained pressure. Aslam completed a brace with a peach of a goal in the 64th. He controlled a long aerial ball from CJ Rinil with chest and then beat Joseph before placing the ball into an empty net.

Relishing a 2-0 cushion, SBT maintained the tempo and a third goal looked imminent but an alert Joseph was up to the task to save a Aneesh deflection off a Abdul Noushad cross from the left wing.

The Bankmen then went further ahead of their rivals when John placed a defence splitting pass from Shaheer to the left of Joseph. Shaheer put himself on the scoresheet when he headed home a diagonal ball from substitute Jipson Justus. Though Shaheer returned the favour to Justus a while after, the unmarked SBT midfielder could only find the woodwork from inside the 18-yard box.

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