Future Stars and Khiladi Connect advances to the quarters in 3rd division while The Catholic Gymkhana wins big in 1st division!
11th February,2018: On Sunday both first division and 3rd division MDFA play-off stages continued, with two matches being played in the both the divisions. In 3rd division pre-quarters, Future Stars FC edged out Alpresco FC in another thrilling shoot-out, while Khiladi Connect Overcame The Soccer Academy by a solitary goal. In first division matches, The Catholic Gymkhana notched a convincing 7-2 victory in a goal-fest, while Colaba FA and Spartan Academy played out a 2-2 draw.
3rd division,play-off (pre-quarters)- Future Stars FC (Tushar 43’) 1-1 [FT] (4-3 shootout) Alpresco FC (Ryan 52’)
3rd division continued its trend of producing breath-taking matches in the play-off stage, with the latest one being the pre quarters on Sunday, when Alpresco FC and Future Stars FC faced off each other. It was a typical high intensity game with both the teams going for the kill, as it was the matter of qualification to the quarter final.
Alpresco FC looked confident and composed; coming into this match at the back drop of a momentum-breaker loss to O’sheish, while Future Stars FC wanted their unbeaten run to stay alive till quarters. Alpresco tried to make several inroads into the Future Stars half in the first half but stout defending from Swapnil Bhende and Ganesh Chalwadi meant, scoreline remained goalless until the first whistle.
Second half was lit up as soon as Future Stars FC managed to sneak past a goal courtesy Tushar Kamani strike,who was beautifully assisted by a through ball from the substitute Rudolf D’Souza. The goal reinstilled the sense of emergency in Alpresco’s gameplay, as more and more crosses from the defence tried to reach their forwards. Just as the stipulated time was about to finish Alpresco got a corner; their last scope of revival. The beautiful curler cross by Prakash from corner, perfectly found the header of Ryan Gracius, who snatched the all-important equaliser for Alpresco FC as the final whistle blew off immediately; meaning it would again roll on to shoot-out for the final outcome; much like yesterday.
In the first spot-kick, the no. 7’s of both the team converted in an identical manner. Then came the fatal miss by Prakash,who had his weak shot saved by the Future Stars goalie moving slightly to his left. In desperation Ryan Gracius of Alpresco FC dorned the keeping gloves and it immediately brought dividends as Lyle Mendes hit the third spot-kick to the crossbar to restore parity of misses. But Alpresco were undone in their last spotkick as Ryan Gracius this time,unfortunately, hit it way above the crossbar, before Swapnil calmly converted from the last penalty to clinch an unforgettable victory for Future Stars FC.
With this win Future Stars FC set up their mouth-watering quarter final clash against IIT Powai (B).
3rd division pre-quarter- Khiladi Connect (Subham 15’) 1-0 The Soccer Academy
To round up the first round of play-off knockout stage, Khiladi Connect and The Soccer Academy locked horns in what was the last pre-quarter of this division. The first half strike from Subham Patel at 15th minute was the ultimate winner for Khiladi Connect, reaffirming their favourite status coming into this match. They will now face KSA U-17 in the quarter final.
1st Divison,Group C-
The Catholic Gymkhana (Kaushik36’ 46’ 53’ 67’ 78’, Yash 64’ 77’) 7-2 Soccer A to Z ( Clinton 22’ 50’)
Meanwhile in a high scoring first division clash in group C, The Catholic Gymkhana blanked Soccer A to Z ,7-2 . It was of high intensity match as both the teams were searching for their first win in the campaign to avert a possible relegation. Kaushik Kinjawdekar emerged as the hero of the match scoring as many as 5 goals, while a brace from Yash Khandilkar completed the score sheet for Catholic Gymkhana. Clinton was the only bright part of Soccer A to Z ,who scored twice in vain to reignite team. With this win The Catholic Gymkhana leapfrogged three places to stand in 5th position in the standings with 5 points in 6matches, just behind Kenkre U-17. This devastating loss was the 6th in as many matches for Soccer A to Z.
1st Division, Group B- Colaba Sports Academy (Karan 38’ 44’) 2-2 Spartans Sports Academy (Varun 23’ 30’)
In another 1st division clash in group B , Colaba FA and Spartans Sports Academy played out a thrilling 2-2 stalemate. While Varun Sastry’s brace for SSA saw them taking a 2-0 lead, Karan Akare scored twice to for CSA, as both the teams failed to score any more goals to settle with the 2-2 scoreline. While this result both the teams improved a place in the standings. Colaba FA now promotes to third spot in the group with 10 points in half the matches while SSA improved on their points tally to 4 in 5 matches to be placed at 7th in the standings.