Air India Ride On Wayne Vaz’s All Important Goal To Beat Union Bank Of India

Air India's Nikhil Poojary and UBI's Aaron D'costa

Air Indian edged out Union Bank of India 1-0 in the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) Elite division league match played at Cooperage on Friday.

There has always been a healthy rivalry between Union Bank of India and Air India, with a history that has always seen the top performers of UBI being recruited  in Air India. The likes of Steven Dias and Vijit Shetty in the past and Rohel Shaikh and Mervin Stephen this year, all products from the UBI setup.

UBI Coach Julian D’silva motivates his players with such positive energy that they give their hearts out while playing against a team like Air India. Being a more of a young and inexperienced side this season, the thought process of facing the defending league champions in their very first game certainly took them off .

Air India dominated the first half with many shots on target but were unable to break the deadlock, the best chance for Air India came in the 18th minute, when a good move on top of the box ended up with a through ball for Sagar Chile, he took a touch forward and shot it straight onto the post, to all amusement referee Cajetan  Dias whistled for a goal, shocked by this officiating error, the UBI players protested the desicion but having confirmed with linesman Sidharth Shrivastav, the referee disallowed the goal and play continued.

UBI centreback Tejas Raut had a busy day at the office, as he blocked off Air India’s attack on various occasions and stood tall in the UBI defence,  keeping his team in the game. Union bank then came up with an attack of their own in the 38th minute, when Aaron D’Costa initiated a scoring move by playing a ball across to Chetan Tandel, who nicely positioned himself in the box and decieved the Air India defence with a clever back heel pass to Shannon Pereira who fired a rasping shot past the Air India goalkeeper only to be denied by the cross bar.

After making a few goal scoring attempts, finally  Air India took their chance in 44th minute, when a corner kick taken by Yogesh Rawat was cleared away by the UBI defence only for the ball to fall at the feet of Wayne Vaz, who controlled well and drilled a shot into the back of the net. Air india were much relieved going into the lemon break with a 1 goal lead

In the 2nd half UBI got back into the game much more confident and kept more of the ball possession. Whereas Air India kept stacking up their missed chances, UBI later came close to grabbing an equalizer, a wonderful cross by  Pratik Koli provided an opportunity for Manish Koli, who put his shot well wide of the Air India goal.

Union Bank looked menacing in the closing moments of the game, in injury time Pankaj Koli played a good through ball along the ground which beat the entire Air India defence, Pratik made a clever run to anticipate the ball but Air India goalkeeper Rahul Chadha did well to come off his line and collect the ball bravely denying UBI a last gasp equalizer.



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