Central Railways edge second half goal fest against Companeroes S.C to progress to the Premier Cup last eight

6th Rcf Premier Cup

Central Railways scored three goals in as many minutes to peg back Companeroes S.C in the second half and eventually book a place in the RCF Premier Cup Quarter Finals after a 3-2 win over Companeroes at the RCF Sports Complex in Chembur.

The game started brightly as both sides had efforts, neither of which troubled either goal keepers. The first real chance of the game fell Companeroes’ way as Nikhil Pal was in acres of space after he was found by a low cross from the right flank. But his shot was bravely saved by the Central Railways’ goalkeeper Pradeep Kumar in the 16th minute.

Central Railways nearly profited from a confusion between Companeroes’ goalkeeper Vatsal Bhatia and defender Umair Shiakh, as the both collided. But luckily for the duo, the ball rolled wide.

Companeroes just edged the possession but in terms of chances, the game was very even.

The teams went into half time deadlocked. It was a very even game with very few chances as the day’s tradition of a penalty shootout as the game decider was looking likely to continue.

But the second half exactly the opposite as Companeroes took the lead in the very first minute of the second period. Substitute Shabaz Khan nicely controlled a cross from Fazil Sheikh after goalkeeper failed to collect it and slotted home neatly to send the Companeroes’ camp celebrating.

Central Railways reacted with a change bringing on Arun E.K for Chetan Waghela in the 36th minute. They were rewarded three minutes later as Sumesh Nair was found in acres of space in front of the goal after he picked up a cross from the left flank as he finished in the top right hand side of the goal, to pull Central Railways level. The Companeroes’ keeper could have done better.

The game was sparked into life with two quick fire goals, but there were to be more as Central Railways turned it around two minutes later as Shafique P. profited from a mix-up in the Companeroes’ defence to coolly fire past Vatsal Bhatia who was partner in crime yet again.

His woes were compounded as Central Railways got another one a minute later, with Shafique P. scoring again after he drove at the Companeroes’ defence to hit his shot past the helpless Vatsal Bhatia to make it 3-1.

Vatsal Bhatia was relieved of his misery as he was taken off in the 47th minute. Two minutes later, Shafique P. who was looking for his hat-trick danced his way through the Companeroes’ defence but could not beat the new goalkeeper.

Central Railways were enjoying great support from their supporters as they had a little contingent who had made their way to the RCF Sports Complex to cheer their team.

Those three quick goals had knocked the stuffing out of Companeroes as Central Railways were pretty much in control. Nikhil Pal nearly ensured a grand stand finish when he shot over from close range. It was a great chance wasted to pull a goal back.

The missed chance got all the more glaring when Companeroes were awarded a penalty in stoppage time which Shabaz Khan put away to make it 3-2. But it proved to be a mere consolation for Companeroes as referee blew for full time just after the restart.

Central Railways quick fire goals were enough to secure a quarter final berth as Companeroes were left wondering what might have been. Central Railways will play the winner of Bhilai Brothers and Kenkre FC game on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Great Mother F.C, Premier Indian Football Academy Colaba and Western Railways sealed their passage through to the Quarter Finals through the route of penalty shootout at the expense of hosts RCF S.C, Mumbai Customs and KSA respectively.

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