Thursday, Mar 06, 2003
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By Our Sports Reporter
What appeared to be a stroll in the park for the local side turned out to be a nightmare in the closing stages as errors from defenders nearly gifted an unlikely draw to the visitors.
Titanium started the proceedings on a high note forging ahead in the seventh minute as K.P. Shabeer headed in a flag kick taken by Boniface.
With its opponents failing to combine as a unit, Titanium did not have any problem in controlling the pace.
However, the strikers Usman and Ebin Rose failed to create an impression at the rival goal and many of the Titanium moves fizzled out as it neared the rival penalty box.
In between AG's goalkeeper M.S. Saravanakumar fisted out a first timer from Ebin Rose in the 27th minute.
Titanium went into the lemon break with a 2-0 lead as a one-two by Ebin Rose and Abdul Hakkim split the rival defence and the latter had no difficulty in placing the ball past goalkeeper.
Surprisingly, Titanium played far too casually in the second half. AG's Office regrouped in the midfield and jelled well as a unit.
Moving ahead with short passes, the visitors kept up the pressure on Titanium whose problems were compounded by lack of harmony in the defence.
Substitute Raghupathy latched on to a minus pass from Boniface and went around goalkeeper Rajiv to score in the 85th minute.
Another shocking mistake from Sameer in the 43rd minute nearly cost his side some valuable points.
Sammer's intended back pass to Rajeev eluded the goalkeeper's desperate dive and as luck would have it hit the far post and rebounded to an unmarked Balashankar.
The AG's striker's powerful shot ricochetted off the bar and came to Raghupathy, who shot out from close as Titanium supporters heaved a sigh of relief.
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