Western Railways edge KSA in a penalty shootout to join P.I.F.A Colaba and G.M.F.C in the Premier Cup Quarter Finals

6th Rcf Premier Cup

Western Railways edged Karnataka Sporting Association (KSA) 5-3 on penalties after a goalless hour of play brought us to the tie breaker in a first round game of the RCF Premier Cup held at the RCF Sports Complex in Chembur.

The start of the game was delayed by more than an hour because of presiding events, but the game eventually kicked off as KSA started the brighter of the two sides, working the Western Railways’ goalkeeper Nisar Khan who punched away a dangerous looking cross in the 3rd minute of the game.

Two minutes later, there was a stoppage in the game as one of the lights went off, but the officials quickly addressed the issue and play resumed with the Western Railways keeper on the toes again as he cleared a long ball aimed at KSA striker Arihi Uchela in the 7th minute.

The first real attempt on goal came two minutes later when Arihi Uchela played in winger Valentine Perreira who unleashed a ferocious shot at the Western Railways’ goal. But goalkeeper Nisar Khan was equal to the task again as he saved brilliantly to deny KSA.

A minute later, he is called upon again as he saves from Arihi Uchela. Western Railways conjure their first real opening of the game in the 15th minute, when Somi P.T shoots straight at the KSA goalkeeper after meeting Prakash Patil’s cross.

Western Railways buoyed by the previous attempt almost take the lead two minutes later when Linekar Machado is picked out by a brilliant long ball from defense to send him through on goal, only for the former I-League star to fire wide. The best chance of the game had fallen the Western Railways’ way but they failed to capitalize.

After a bright start by KSA, Western Railways had found their feet and gave KSA some problems. But overall it was a fairly even game. In the 27th minute Keniertan of Western Railways forced a double save out of the KSA keeper.

The half drew to a close with an injury to KSA goalkeeper Manish Kajania after he collided with a Western Railways forward before collecting a loose pass. But he recovered as the referee blew for half time.

The second half had a similar pattern wherein both sides worked the opposition keeper briefly in the opening minutes of the second period. With very few clear cut chances, the game started getting physical and more of a midfield battle.

KSA’s Valentine Perreira sparked into life in the 52nd minute when he went past the opposition left back with a great piece of skill to set up striker Arihi Uchela who shot over. It was breathtaking play for Valentine Perreira who was having a good evening so far.

Two minutes later, Western Railways’ Somi P.T. sent his shot across the face of the goal. Both teams were sensing a winner and the game suddenly had a lot of life about it as we approached the end of the second half.

But neither side could break the deadlock as we headed for the penalty shootout.
Western Railways were the first to shoot and Somi P.T. stepped up for them and slotted home the spot kick in the top right corner as the keeper dived the other way. But KSA failed to level the score as substitute Shabbir Shaikh sent his kick wide. Western Railways found themselves 2-0 up as Somnath Mandal scored in the bottom right corner giving the KSA shot stopper no chance.

Umer Fabian restored KSA’s hopes as he pulled one back as he scraped his kick through in the bottom left corner just escaping Nasir Khan’s clutches. But Linekar Machado soon regained the two goal cushion as he struck his kick in the bottom left corner. Hitesh Karkera kept KSA’s hopes alive as he send the keeper the wrong way to bring the score at 3-2 in Western Railways’ favor.

Manish Kajania almost saves Pratik Patil’s spot kick as it goes in off the post to get Western Railways on the brink. Keeping in mind the importance of the next spot kick, KSA’s star frontman Arihi Uchela steps up to slot home in the top right corner to keep the game going.

Charanjit Singh finally seals the victory for Western Railways as his spot kick finds the back of the net despite the KSA keeper getting a hand to it, to send Western Railways through.

Western Railways edged a very tight game as they showed better composure in the shootout. They will now await the winners of Dilbahar FC and Indian Navy in the Quarter Finals to be played on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Great Mother F.C and Premier Indian Football Academy Colaba sealed their passage through to the Quarter Finals through the same route of penalty kicks as Western Railways.

Great Mother saw off hosts Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers after a dramatic sixty minutes, which saw both sides take the lead and lose it as Kevin Patrick’s late leveler for RCF saw a shootout which G.M.F.C edged 4-3 after Raju Meetei’s opener for the hosts was cancelled out by goals from Suchil Ranade and Michael Idewele which game G.M.F.C the lead.

The second game between P.I.F.A. Colaba and Mumbai Customs was a roller coaster ride. Elvis Ozawara gave P.I.F.A Colaba the lead which was cancelled out by a Mathias Coutinho penalty before half time. Mumbai Customs rallied to a 3-1 lead after the break with goals from Mathias Coutinho and Jinto Jose before P.I.F.A. fought back to level the tie at 3-3 as Elvis Ozawara completed his hattrick. Mumbai Customs never recovered from this setback as they lost the shootout 4-1.

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