Air India wins Nayanar Memorial Gold Cup trophy

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Kannur, Apr 30(UNI) Air India, Mumbai lifted the second E K Nayanar Memorial Gold Cup soccer trophy when they defeated Ferroviara FC, Brazil by a solitary goal in the finals here today.

The all important goal was scored by midfielder Surojit Roy when he nodded home off a pass from Ravinder Singh in the nineth minute.

However, in the 83rd minute, Brazil's Reinaldo received a red-card for questioning Referee Egidio D'Costa's decision to warn him for fouling the opponent player Santhosh Singh.

Air India continued to attack after taking the lead with array of defence-splitting passes. The winners played an attacking game right from the beginning. Coach Bimal Ghosh's game-plan worked wonders, as he was instrumental in the players adopting 'dour behind the defence and motor behind the attack' strategy to pressurise the opponents time and again. Captain Nepolean Singh played a pivotal role and marshalled his resources well.

Brazilian players Frederico Oliveira and Robinson Michel made an inroad into the opposition citadel time without number, but their efforts went in vain before the well-oiled defence of Air India men.

The South American team got an opportunity to restore parity in the 36th minute, but the pile-driver from F Oliveria, sailed over the bar. The Brazilians made an all-out attack to equalise by relying on chocking of their opponents when it comes to the crunch, but the goal eluded them, much to their discomfiture. The team, often relied on its well-drilled defence after taking a lead, but for a change, the team trailed-behind and were desperately looking for goals to romp home at least by an odd-margin.

The Brazilians misery was compounded when the Air India custodian rose to the occasion whenever the situation warranted. To their credit, the South Americans had not conceded a goal till the semi-finals.

Man of the tournament award goes to Robinson Michel of the Brazilian team and best goalkeeper award to Sharat E C.

CPI(M) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan gave away the prizes.

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