Brainy World hold their nerves to reach the CSL Final

Brainy World booked a place in the Colaba Super League Final with a 3-1 penalty shootout win over Naaz United in the 1st Qualifier game held at the Back Gardens Ground in Colaba on Tuesday, 9th June 2015. The game was deadlocked at 1-1 after the regulation sixty minutes of play.

The two sides met again for the second time in the space of ten days, but this time for a place in the final. Naaz United ran 5-1 winners in that game but Bariny World who were determined to erase the memories of that mauling started the game on the front foot.

Chetan Tandel forced a brilliant save off Naaz United goalkeeper Manish Shetty in the very 3rd minute of the game when his low drilled free kick seemed destined for the bottom corner only for Shetty to deny the Brainy World skipper an early goal with a fine low save.

Three minutes later, Naaz United had their first opening of the game when Karim Shaikh brilliantly turned after controlling a pass, but his final effort went over the target. It was a good piece of play from the Central Railway striker after he created the opening from virtually nothing.

The early flurry of chances was followed by a rather subdued fifteen minutes of play before Brainy World grabbed the initiative in the 20th minute when Rupesh Meher headed home a Dhruvesh Nijap cross to spark celebrations among the men in yellow.

Brainy World’s celebration proved immature when Balram Patil found Karim Shaikh fifteen yards from goal, allowing the in-form Naaz United striker to turn and fire into the bottom corner to bring Naaz United on level terms.

Karim Shaikh’s breathtaking finish saw both teams go into the break level pegging to perfectly set up the second half.

Both teams went full throttle in the second half, but many good chances went begging at either ends. Naaz United’s Mohsin Khan failed to apply finishing touchesto Rashid Shiakh’s flick on in the 50th minute before Hemant Meher too failed in his attempt to regain the lead for Brainy World a minute later.

Hemant Meher almost won it for Brainy World in the 57th minute when his fierce strike from the edge of the box was crucially tipped away by Manish Shetty for Naaz United.

The tie had to be settled from the spots after the teams remained deadlocked at full time.

In the shootout, Chetan Tandel set Brainy World on their way with a powerfully struck penalty before Karim Shaikh’s spot kick was brilliantly saved by Manish Bhoir.

Hemant Meher doubled Brainy World’s lead with a fine low penalty which sailed into the bottom corner. Lakhan Lokhande send Manish Bhoir the wrong way to make it 2-1 before Charles Fernandes’ scored from the spot to send Brainy World into the Colaba Super League Final on Friday.

After eight weeks of hard work, Brainy World held their nerves when it mattered the most and book a place in the show piece to be held at the Cooperage Stadium on Friday evening.

Karim Shaikh proved he was human after all after seeing his penalty saved. But he and his team will get another shot at the spot in the final when they take on Kalakaar Indians tomorrow in the second qualifier game.

Kalakaar Indians overcame Golden Tigers on penalties to make it to the 2nd Qualifier.

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