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FC Kochi storm into finals

July 31, 1998

Indian Express

KANNUR:  Formidable KBL-FC Kochi scored a convincing 4-0 win over Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, and stormed into the final of the South Zone Black Label Federation Cup football tournament here today, reports PTI.
The winners led 1-0 at half time. The Kochi team who had the upper hand, forged ahead in the 45th minute through captain Dhanesh's header. Star striker Abu Jomo, who played as a mid-fielder in the match, struck the second goal in the 54th minute while medio Noel Wilson consolidated their lead in the 79th minute. Substitute Noushad rounded off the tally in the injury time. 
Thought the semi-final match got off to an even start, the home team had a slight upperhand in midfield exchanges and in terms of ball possession. Though the Kochi team could have taken the lead as early as in the 8th minute, Dhanesh's header went over the upright. Another opportunity went abeggin for KBL-FC Kochi as both Najeeb and Abu Jomo were a bit late in latching on to a cross by defender Mir Farooq Hyder.
The Kochi team kept attacking and got their reqard at the stroke of halftime when Dhanesh beat Rakash with a header off a perfect cross by Roque Baretto, Karunakar Raj, playing as a striker, banged the first. It was headed in on rebound by Dhanesh. 
The Kochi team missed a chance in the 50th minute as Najeeb's shot went over the line. 
However, they increased their lead four minutes later when Jomo banged home a neat cross by Baretto from the right. 
After Najeeb messed up an open chance in the 64th minute, the Kochi team scored their third goal through Noel Wilson in the 75th minute. Dhanesh who had only Prakash in front sent a powerful shot but the ball rebounded of Prakash's hands. Wilson collected the rebound and placed it neatly inside the net. Substitute Naushad, who replaced an off-colour Najeeb, completed the tally the injury time. 
In the second semi final, SBT will meet Indian Bank tomorrow.