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Alberto cracks FC Kochi with a late goal

January 04, 1998 

Indian Express 
KOCHI: Salgoacar coach Shabbir Ali's hope came true today at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. He felt yesterday that ``if our mid-field and strikers click, then it will be tough for FC Kochin.'' 
Salgaocar (Goa) stunned favourites FC Kochin 2-1.With nine minutes to go for the long whistle, Jules Alberto struck the winner after both teams were tied at 1-1. Bruno Coutinho's indirect kick broke the Kochin wall and reached Odega who found Alberto on the left free to strike. He essayed a volley that went over Kochi 'keeper Ali Abubakar.Coutinho put the Goans ahead when he came with a curling shot just outside the Kochin box in the 28th minute. The first strike by the Goans was the result of the their Nigerian recruit Odego who back-headed the ball from inside the box to Coutinho who freed himself from others.
With a goal down, IM Vijayan came into action. Vijayan headed a ball from left flank into the centre of the box but even before the Goan goalie could collect the ball, Francis Coelho tapped the ball into his own goal. Match commissioner Mamu Koya said that the goal will be credited to IM Vijayan as per the new Fifa rules.The all-round display put up by the Goans undid the Kochi outfit. Their defence was compact with Franky Barreto, Roberto Fernandes and Francis Coelho. Roberto had a big hand in containing the irrepressible rival skipper IM Vijyan, who was forced to resort to long rangers. The mid-field was on song with fast breaks. And their strikers did act with man-of-the-match and former Indian captain Coutinho among goals.Kochin's resurrected mid-field lay shattered and defence left gaps. In fact, the only professional side in the country have to thank the Goans for the equaliser. Right from the beginning, the Goan outfit began to press with offensive play. For the first 30 minutes, Kochin had no clue how to recompose themselves. Roque Pereira, Khelendro Singh, Sanaton Singh and S Venkatesh did most of the work for the Goan strikers to threaten the home side.Minutes before the lemon break, FC Kochin were on the rampage. Raman Vijayan succeeded in ballooning the ball with Goan goalie Juje Siddi in front from a move orchestrated by Chapman and Vijayan. After the break, Kochin carried on from where they left. Mohammed Salissu's cross from the left was tapped away by Siddi. The Ghanaian could have made up for his earlier act. A Vijayan pass was shot out when he needed to tap it in. Salissu had scored two goals in the early matches.


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