Mahindra retain IFA Shield humbling Santos

March 7th, 2008 - 11:59 pm ICT by admin  

Barasat (West Bengal), March 7 (IANS) Mumbai’s Mahindra United successfully defended the IFA Shield title beating pre-match favourites Santos FC of South Africa 3-1 in the final at the Barasat Stadium near Kolkata Friday. Mahindras, who had lost to the same team 0-2 in the league, played much better in the final to emerge surprise victors.

Mahindra’s hero on the day was Ivory Coast import Douhou Pierre, who had a role in each of the three goals they scored. Douhou was declared the man of the match.

Mahindras went 2-0 up within 15 minutes, courtesy the Douhou-Yakubu combination. Yakubu drew first blood in the ninth minute off Douhou’s pass from the right.

The same combination struck six minutes later as Yakubu converted from top of the box after Douhou essayed an accurate pass from the centre.

The Capetown side never really looked settled. Their star forward Tasleem Paulse was bottled up by N.P. Pradeep and Bello Rasaq.

They fought after the interval and striker Gregory Roelf reduced the margin with a sparkling header off Leon Godloza’s measured freekick. This was about the only period that the South African side played came close to their potential.

Diminutive Ayanda Maqasha rattled Mahindra defenders with excellent runs and superb ball control in the centre.

Surprisingly coach Duncan Crowie replaced Maqasha with Jarren Moultrie in the 76th minute and it cost them heavily allowing Derrick Pereira’s boys off the hook.

Towards the end, Douhou snatched the ball from Leon Godloza and set things up for substitute Sushil Kumar Singh, who came in for Manjit Singh in the 85th minute. Sushil hammered the final nail in Santos coffin with his left footer.

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