Friday, Apr 05, 2002
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Andhra Pradesh goalkeeper Mohammed Asif foiling the attempt of Kerala's R. Rajesh while teammate Syed Zahid Ali rushes to his aid in the South Zone under-21 football championship in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday.
Andhra Pradesh converted the only chance it got in the entire match much to the displeasure of the Kerala supporters. Abdullah Bahmed chested in a corner kick taken by captain Syed Habeeb Ullah in the 23rd minute to register a surprise victory for his side.
Kerala did the entire running but the team looked far from a settled combination. Though, it had a major say in ball possession, creative moves were at a premium. Moreover, the Kerala forwards looked woefully inadequate to convert the rare half-chances that came their way.
The Andhra goalkeeper Mohammed Asif was in fine form and he brought out a few good saves to deny the Kerala forwards an equaliser.
Andhra Pradesh, after scoring the match winner, played a calculated game and was content in playing second fiddle to its rival.
That nothing was working well for Kerala was evident from the start when its forwards failed to break the rival defence, which at times looked vulnerable. But goalkeeper Mohammed Asif made up for his defenders mistakes.
The match-winner came against the run of play and off a fast counter-attack. Kerala defence warded off the initial danger by conceding a corner. But Abdullah Bahmed rushed in and chested in the ensuing corner-kick taken by Syed Habeeb Ullah.
The match became one-sided in the second half with Andhra Pradesh adopting a defensive approach, content in protecting its lead.
But relentless sorties by Kerala forwards saw them create two good opportunities in the last quarter. But goalkeeper Mohammed spoiled Kerala's day by staving off their challenges on both occasions.
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