Ennock Annan inspires ONGC to a comeback win over Central Railways

Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) came from behind to beat Central Railways 3-1 in the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) Elite Division at Cooperage on Friday, October 23, 2015.

Both the teams came into the game on the back of important wins. ONGC had edged KSA in their last outing while Central Railways saw off Kenkre FC in their previous game. But the match-winners of the previous game for both the teams were missing. ONGC were without former Mohun Bagan defender Karan Steal, while Central Railways missed their striker Rashid Shaikh due to suspension.

But talismanic forward Karim Shaikh returned for Central Railways to boost their attack against a strong ONGC side.

But it was ONGC who were quicker out of the blocks and almost took the lead in the 5th minute when Dhiraj Meher’s effort from close range was heroically cleared off the line by Central Railways’ Arun E.K

However Central Railways took a shock lead five minutes later when ONGC fullback Pawan Joshi’s backward header lacked the power to get to the goalkeeper, allowing forward Ajinkya Nalavade to pounce and toe-poke into the net past the ONGC goalkeeper.

The goal stunned ONGC and gave Central Railways the necessary shot in the arm for the rest of the half.

Parminder Singh very nearly curtailed CentralRailways’ joy as he made a great run down the right hand side but his cross just evaded a charging Kailash Patil in the 15th minute.

The veteran ONGC striker was once again picked out by Ennock Annan who won the ball high up the pitch but Patil failed to keep his shot on target as his effort from outside of his foot went wide.

Central Railways who had resisted plenty of pressure from ONGC after going ahead rode their luck in the 36th minute, when Dhiraj Meher struck the woodwork with an attempt from close range.

But just when one thought Central Railways had done enough to go into the break with an advantage, ONGC showed their class when Kailash Patil sent a left foot curler into the side netting and bring ONGC level in the 44th minute.

The teams went level at the break after Kailash Patil’s glorious equalizer undid all of Central Railways’ hard work in the first half.

The mood in the ONGC camp was changed after that late equaliser and last year’s runners-up looked a much better side after the break.

The Oilmen eventually got their breakthrough in the 69th minute when attacker Ennock Annan stole the march on the Central Railways centre back at the near post to slot home a cross from the left flank and put ONGC in front.

Annan who was buoyed by his goal very nearly set up Kailash Patil in the 80th minute but his cross was slightly ahead of the onrushing Patil.

Three minutes later Central Railways had a great chance to equalize when Karim Shaikh escaped his marker to get on the end of a lofted pass from midfield but his effort was blocked thanks to a superb tackle from Pawan Joshi who made up for his earlier error with a goal saving tackle.

ONGC added insult to Central Railways’ injury when they added a third goal through Ennock Annan who had all the time in the world to curl his shot home after Kailash Patil’s dummy found him in achres of space.

ONGC once again won a game after not being at their best as a solid second half performance helped them to all three points once again.



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