Carmelites rally to stun Century Rayon

Carmelites produced a strong second half performance to overcome a one goal deficit and record a 2-1 win over Century Rayon in their opening game of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) 1st Division at St. Xavier’s Ground in Parel on Friday, 4th September 2015.

The game took a while to come to the boil as the first real attempt of note came from the Carmelites’ winger Amir Sayyed who rose the highest to head Amir Qureshi’s corner inches wide of the right hand side goal post.

At the other end though, Century Rayon enjoyed better luck as winger Prakash Sonawne pounced on a poor clearance from the Carmelites goalkeeper Nikhil Devkar and set up Tothalchan Vashum who headed in an almost empty goal thanks to goalkeeper Devkar’s poor positioning to fire the 2nd Division champions of last year in front in the 14th minute.

Century Rayon had a spring in the step after getting in front as their three forwards Swapam, Vashum and former KSA frontman Roger Sam started combining well to create problems for the Carmelites rearguard.

There was a moment of controversy in the 26th minute when the Century Rayon skipper Sumeet Bhosle was booked for a rash tackle on a Carmelites midfielder. Bhosle almost got himself sent off following an argument with the referee, post the booking. But his team mates cooled down the situation well as referee Cajetan Dias decided to keep the Red card in his pocket.

Despite a lucky escape, Century Rayon had the better of the game, as they went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

Carmelites who needed to score to in the second half to get anything out of the game, started brightly, pushing forward in numbers and pegging Century Rayon back in their box early on in the second half.

But Century Rayon almost hit them with a quick Counter attack which saw Prakash Sonawne race clear on the right flank and lay it on a plate for T.Vashum, whose cheeky finish could only come off the post before Vashum fouled the goalkeeper while trying to convert the rebound.

After being let off the hook, Carmelites equalized at the other end through Amir Sayyed whose clever run at the far post went unnoticed as he tapped home an Arjun Pandit free kick from the left flank in the 43rd minute.

The equalizer though didn’t seem to deter Century Rayon any bit as they almost regained the lead five minutes later when Roger Sam made a darting run down left hand side to leave three Carmelites players reeling before drilling a low cross which was parried by the Carmelites goalkeeper Nikhil Devkar allowing Carmelites to clear the danger.

At the other end, Carmelites had a great chance to take the lead when a perfectly threaded through ball from midfield saw William Fernandes clear on goal in the 53rd minute, but the Century Rayon goalkeeper Vian Joseph did brilliantly to keep it out.

The game was stretched as both teams went for it and Century Rayon were extremely unlucky not to be in front a minute later when a sweet strike from Sumeet Bhosle thundered against the angle of the post. It was an absolute screamer from thirty yards which had the Carmelites goalkeeper’s heart in his mouth.

Just as it seemed the game would end all square, Century Rayon goalkeeper Vian Joseph made a complete mess of a back pass as he was tackled by Smit Devkar who had no worries in putting the ball in the back of the net and completing a great second half turnaround with just five minutes left on the clock.

Century Rayon threw the kitchen sink at Carmelites who bravery held on to seal a great win to kick start their campaign.

Defensive errors cost Century Rayon big time as failure to convert their chances compounded in their first defeat of the season.

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