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Sacked from job three days ago, CK Vineeth offers fitting reply with Fed Cup final brace

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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Modified 20 Dec 2019, 10:49 IST
Vineeth played for the Kerala Blasters in the ISL

CK Vineeth might just have undergone the most turbulent week of his life. Last Sunday, he received the shocking news that he had been sacked by his employers, the Kerala Accountants General office. He had been a sports quota employee of the government organisation since 2012 and his four-year probation period had ended last year.

A regular in the Indian national side and a key component in one of India’s leading football clubs, his services were terminated as he did not meet the minimum required attendance. This was an incredible shock, given the sudden nature of it and that a footballer of Vineeth’s stature has to juggle two jobs at once.

Fresh from this discouraging announcement, he was deputed to lead the Bengaluru FC attack in the absence of Sunil Chhetri in what was a crucial encounter against rivals Mohun Bagan in the AFC Cup. He tried his best but fell short as the side from Karnataka lost 3-1, which now leaves them second in their group behind Maziya.

The anguish he must have felt is understandable. Incredibly though, he put it behind him and this Sunday, led his side to a memorable Federation Cup triumph, with two extra-time goals against Bagan that saw Bengaluru FC avenge their previous loss. And there were signs of a turnaround just a day earlier too!

On Saturday, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel released a statement offering support to Vineeth. It stated that he will speak to the Kerala Chief Minister and the CAG office in Delhi so that they accommodate the winger back into their set-up.

Goel also stated that he will personally monitor such cases in the future and ensure that no other athlete has to go through the same ordeal as Vineeth.

It must have been a huge relief for the Kerala man, but what had started off as a horrible week off the pitch would now end with one of his most memorable moments on it. Vineeth came on as a substitute in the final of the Federation Cup and it was his brace in extra-time that took his side to a spectacular victory.

After a goalless 90 minutes, both sides were engaged in a deadlock as penalties loomed on the horizon. But the game was thrown wide open after Vineeth opened the scoring with 13 minutes left. His shot after cutting in from the left flank hit the back of the net after a deflection off a defender, sending the team and its fans into a frenzy.

And with just a minute remaining, he added the icing to the cake as he doubled his account for the game. Running at the defence, he unleashed a solid, low shot that went past the keeper and into the goal. 

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His goals ensured that Bengaluru would continue to play in Asia next season and after what had been a disappointing I-League campaign for Alberto Roca’s side, the domestic season ended with the Fed Cup added to the club’s trophy cabinet. What a week and what a turnaround for CK Vineeth! 

Published 21 May 2017, 22:14 IST
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