Hat-Trick Hero Neil Gaikwad sees red as Air India thrash Companeroes

Mornings in Mumbai couldn’t get better for football lovers as the ongoing Elite Division matches being held at the iconic dew covered Cooperage ground. Air India clashed with Companeroes in Fridays morning’s game. Air India scored 5 goals to defeat Companeroes, while Companeroes managed to score only a goal in reply.

As the Sun rose slowly over the morning sky, the game started with the dew covered artificial turf at Cooperage conducive for sliding tackles.

Air India started attacking from the very first minute. Within the first ten minutes, Air India had taken 5 corner kicks but it couldn’t penetrate the Companeroes defence. It was a yellow wall of Companeroes defenders who protected the penalty area.

In the 23rd minute with penalty awarded and Minus the defenders to protect the goal, Neil Gaikwad scored his first goal for the day.

9 minutes later, Harold Fernandes attempted a shot on goal, but was punched away by the Companeroes goalkeeper, but it again returned to Harold and this time around he back heeled the ball to Vijith Shetty whose effort went over the bar.

The second goal was scored by Neil for Air India in the 35th minute as he just placed the ball in the left-corner of the post with the goalkeeper slightly outside the box.

By the end of the first half, with a 2 goal lead already over Companeroes, Joshua Vessuakar of Companeroes missed which seemed like the easiest chance in the first half with goal keeper Rahul of Air India out of the box and with the defenders scattered over the field.

With two minutes after the second half had commenced, Companeroes players began to celebrate even before Stephen Ugwu could convert the penalty into goal which he did that to get Companeroes back in the game.

Soon the score changed again with Neil Gaikwad scoring in the 51st minute, to complete his hat-trick.
Match got interrupted in the 60th minute due to violent conduct by Daniel D’souza and the hat- trick scorer Neil Gaikwad. Both were sent off and both the teams were reduced to 10 man each.

Harold scored in the 70th minute, after Air India strikers maintained possession of the ball and the Companeroes goalkeeper failing to save it.

Stephen provided the only respite for Companeroes but was marked in the entire game by Santosh and Faizal of Air India.

The 5th goal of the day was scored by Baldeep Singh and the ten men of Air India had won 5-1 against Companeroes.

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