Shetty’s twin strike helps AI beat Chirag 3-1

Updated: May 09, 2010, 22:05 PM IST

Mumbai: Skipper Vijeth Shetty found the target twice as Air India defeated Chirag United 3-1 in a round 25 I-League match at the Cooperage ground here on Sunday.

Sunday’s win gave a huge boost to the Airmen’s bid to avoid relegation in the country’s premier football tournament.

Shetty (18th minute and 45+1) and N D Opara (54th) scored for the Air India, while Edmilson Marques (25th) was the only scorer for the visitors.

Following this win, the hosts, who were placed just above Mumbai FC in the points table, have now risen to the 10th place, having 28 points from 25 matches.

Earlier, playing against a team that lacked motivation, Air India Shetty led from the front and slammed two goals in the first half.

Shetty gave the hosts an early lead when his left footer from just outside the box beat the rival goalkeeper in the 18th minute.

Seven minutes later Edmilson converted a controversial penalty, awarded to the visitors after he was brought down by Air India goalkeeper Kunal Sawant, to equalise things for Chirag.

However, Shetty took Air India ahead again in the first half injury time as he ran with the ball and slammed a right footer from outside the box which swirled in the air and beat the goalkeeper.

Nine minutes into the second half, Opara’s stroke from the right flank put the match beyond the visitors’ control.