Goals either side of half time, helps RCF overcome Western Railways

Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers registered a fairly comfortable 2-0 win over Western Railways in an Elite Division game of the MDFA at Cooperage on Boxing Day.

RCF and Western Railways were meeting for a second time in a month, having previously crossed swords in the Quarter Finals of the Nadkarni Cup earlier in the month. RCF were the winners that day with a late winner from Ubaid Ansari.

The game started slowly with both teams taking their time to settle into the game. It was Western railways who made the first real opening, when Arul Pawar played wide to Clayton D’Souya whose cross was cleared in time as Western Railways’ Charanjeet Singh tamely shot wide after latching on to the clearance.
Four minutes late it was RCF with their first real goal mouth action as Mainilungboy’s cross was headed over by RCF striker Raju Meetei. Mainilungboy was getting some joy on the left flank in the opening minutes.

The game was tight with both the teams giving very little away in the opening twenty minutes. The best chance of the game came in the 26th minute, when winger Mainilungboy’s shot went inches wide of the left hand side post. A minute later RCF threatened again as an intricate piece of play saw an RCF forward break into the box, but the Western Railways goalkeeper Grinto Antao did well to come of his line and collect.
RCF were getting plenty of joy going forward as Grinto Antao was called upon again in the 33rd minute when he brilliantly saved Raju Meetei’s effort on goal. But he was not be denied six minutes later, when his shot from the edge of the box went through the legs of the defender and into the right bottom corner. It was a brilliant finish from Raju Meetei and RCF were deservedly in front.
RCF missed a golden opportunity to double their lead in the first minute of stoppage time when Shahbaz Khan’s run was beautifully picked out by a chipped pass from the RCF midfield. But Shabaz Khan blasted over. It was a poor miss from the RCF forward.

Referee Rosario blew for half time as RCF went into the break in front. RCF were slightly the better team and deserved their lead. Western Railways needed to see more of the ball in the second half.

Western Railways made a bright start to proceedings in the second half with two corners in the opening two minutes. Western Railways’ Binoop M.K made a brilliant run and shot took a slight deflection as the RCF keeper made the adjustment to collect the ball in the 53rd minute.

Western Railways goalkeeper did brilliantly to punch clear a cross from Shahbaz Khan in the 61st minute, who was played in on the right flank by a through ball from Rambo Singh. The Western Railways goalkeeper was having a good day at the office.

RCF doubled their advantage seven minutes later, as Angaupu’s brilliant strike found the back of the net despite the Western Railways’ goalkeeper getting a hand to it. All of Grinto Anato’s work went in vain as he allowed the shot to go in. In this case, he should have done much better.
RCF were finding spaces as Western Railways went chasing the game. Raju Meetei did brilliantly to set up Rambo Singh who put his shot wide in the 71st minute. Good play from Raju Meetei though to create the opening.

Western Railways nearly pulled one back in the 73rd minute when Charanjeet Singh’s free kick was brilliantly kept out by RCF goalkeeper Vikarm Singh with his toes. At the other end, Grinto Antao again did brilliantly to deny Raju Meetei as he came off his line to tackle the forward at the edge of the box.
RCF substitute G.Kirean easily went past the last Western Railways defender but he fired his shot wide in the 77th minute. Poor miss especially after such a good burst of pace. Kirean went for power instead of placement and that was his undoing.

RCF are forced into making a change in the 88th minute as the injured Rambo Singh is replaced by Prakash Sonawane. RCF see out the remainder of the game to collect an important three points.
RCF were good value for their victory as they posed a constant threat to the Western Railways goal.

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