Two injury time goals, including one from the penalty spot, got Tamil Eelam’s Tynwald tournament campaign up and running in dramatic fashion with an entertaining 5-3 win over Sealand on Thursday evening at Mullen-e-Cloie.
Tamil’s pacey front line spearheaded by Panushanth Kulenthiran gave the South Asian outfit the majority of the group A encounter’s early pressure. The former AS Roma striker soon making his presence felt producing a sublime finish to give his side a ninth-minute lead.
Tamil continued to look composed on the ball, but Sealand gradually settled and the imposing figure of Jamie Williams began to pose a threat at the other end of the pitch.
Sealand’s more direct approach paid off in the 28th minute when Sam Churchman’s deft header drew the principality level.
Tamil hit back and dangerman Kulenthiran again underlined his predatory skills in and around the box with a lovely curling finish that put his side back in front just after the half-hour mark.
Ragesh Nambiar’s team’s lead lasted barely a minute, however, as debutant Dave Lee turned in Josh Killen’s knock down.
The two sides turned around level, but with the words of manager Julian Dicks ringing in their ears it was Sealand who began the period on the front foot and edged in ahead after just five minutes of the half.
Skipper Luke Wilson, who had impressed at the heart of the Sealand back four, drilled in a free kick from 25 yards to give his side the lead for the first time in the encounter.
Two fine saves from Sealand keeper Thomas McIntosh kept his side’s nose in front until the 73rd minute when Tamil’s Germany-based Majouran Jeganathan turned in a corner from the left.
At 3-3 the game looked finely poised with both sides looking to gain the initiative in an frantic and open last 10 minutes.
A draw looked on the cards until the game entered injury time when Tamil were awarded a penalty kick by Manx referee Ian Fisher. Sealand’s stern and vocal protests fell on deaf ears and substitute Mathanraj Uthayanan coolly slotted home from the spot to send the passionate Tamil support into raptures.
Sealand surged forward in search of an equaliser, throwing keeper McIntosh forward for a late, late corner. However, Tamil broke clear Ragvan Prashanth running the ball into the unguarded net to rubber stamp his side’s win.
The Tynwald tournament continues today, with hosts St John’s facing Alderney at 3pm and competition favourites Occitania taking on Sealand at 7pm.