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Kerala United end I-League qualifiers campaign with win

The goals were scored by Francis Uchenna Nwankwo and Hafis Alakkaparamba, while Sufiyan Shaikh scored a goal for ARA FC.Early in the game.

Kerala United finished the proceedings with a splendid goal by Hafis that ended Kerala United's campaign in the qualifiers with a fine 3-1 win and three points in their kitty. (Photo: Twitter/@KeralaUnitedFC)

Bengaluru: Kerala United ended their campaign at the I-League qualifiers with a memorable 3-1 win against ARA FC at Bengaluru on Thursday.

The goals were scored by Francis Uchenna Nwankwo and Hafis Alakkaparamba, while Sufiyan Shaikh scored a goal for ARA FC.Early in the game, ARA FC controlled possession and looked to hold sway in the first 15 minutes but could not convert.

In the 22nd minute, Dieye Hamiddu created a chance in the box when he beat defender Gabriel to take a shot, but his attempt trickled far off the post. Both teams went into halftime in a 0-0 stalemate.

Kerala United’s experienced head coach Binu George used this time to change the strategy.The halftime team-talk worked to perfection as in the 46th minute, Francis put the ball into the net after beating a couple of ARA FC defenders. 

It was a much-needed goal for Kerala United.They built on this momentum to strike again in the 51st minute when Francis latched onto a mistake by the ARA FC defenders. ARA FC meanwhile looked dangerous in the closing minutes of the game when they first pulled a goal through Sufiyan Shaikh in the 83rd minute.

Sufiyan could have equalised in the 86th minute, but his shot went wide. In stoppage time, though, Kerala United finished the proceedings with a splendid goal by Hafis that ended Kerala United’s campaign in the qualifiers with a fine 3-1 win and three points in their kitty.

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