Alpha Football Academy pip Sanpada FC to qualify for the next round

Alpha Football Academy edged a tight and intense affair against Sanpada FC 1-0 in the first round of the Mumbai District Football Association’s (MDFA) 3rd Division held at the St. Xavier’s Ground in Parel on Monday, 13th July 2015.

The game had a cagey start to it as both teams seemed to cancel each other out in the opening minutes of the game until Sanpada’s Javed Sayed broke clear on goal in the 9th minute but Aplha Football Academy goalkeeper was alert as he came off the line to clear the danger.

Three minutes later, it was AFA with their first opening when forward Chauhan broke free of his marker, only to blaze his shot over the crossbar.

Sanpada FC who were pressing AFA high up the pitch enjoyed plenty of ball possession, but the AFA rearguard dealt with the danger posed by Sanpada FC.

Despite spending majority of the time in their own half, AFA had plenty of good moments on the break. The pace of the AFA forwards was proving to be a handful for the Sanpada backline as they struggled to cope with the constant breaks from AFA.

In the 22nd minute, AFA made the crucial breakthrough as forward Jason Fernandes breezed past the Sanpada defender to fire past the goalkeeper from a very tight angle.

In the final minute of the half, AFA’s Deepak Thamang almost doubled his side’s advantage with a finely struck free kick which was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Manish Gawli for Sanpada FC.

AFA went into the break 1-0 up after an intense half of football between two evenly matched sides.

Sanpada had a dream start to the second half as they equalized within four minutes of the restart when substitute Masaad Kazi equalized for the Sanpada outfit with a cool finish past the AFA goalkeeper.

The goal so early in the first half, completely changed the complexion of the game as Sanpada FC began to assert themselves on the game.

But despite their resurgence, AFA regained the lead in the 45th minute through Azhar Sayyad, whose goal sparked celebrations in the AFA dugout.

Sanpada threw the kitchen sink at AFA in the dying moments but AFA held on for a thrilling win to send them through into the next round.

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