ICL A edge a crazy nine goal affair against Vintage Dahisar

Indian Cultural League ‘A’ came out on top in a nine goal thriller against Vintage Dahisar after a 5-4 win in a game which saw ICL reduced to nine men in the 1st Division of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) at St. Xavier’s Ground in Parel on Saturday, 5th September 2015.

ICL were quick out of the blocks and took the game to Vintage Dahisar right from the outset. ICL’s Jayant Tandel’s shot in the 7th minute went agonizingly wide of the target and was the first real effort in the game. Two minutes later ICL’s Shane Menezes had a great opportunity after he was played through on goal in an one on one position but his effort was nicely saved by the Vintage goalkeeper.

The Vintage goalkeeper was kept busy by the ICL attackers who were finding it relatively easy to penetrate the Vintage box and were causing problems for their backline. in the 22nd minute, ICL took the lead in slightly fortuitous manner when Vintage goalkeeper allowed the Krupesh Sherwade’s shot to escape his grasps as it flew into the back of the net in the 22nd minute.

The goal opened the floodgates as ICL completely took Vintage Dahisar to the cleaners. Six minutes after taking the lead, ICL doubled the advantage as Shana Menezes finally got his goal after he coolly finished past the goalkeeper having being picked out by am inch perfect pass from the midfield.

ICL made it 3-0 in the 33rd minute when Fahimmunshi send a looping long range shot over the Vintage goalkeeper into the net. It wasn’t too obvious whether he meant to score with that effort but it hardly mattered for ICL who raced into a three goal lead.

ICL further added to Vintage’s misery when Rohit Merchande added a fourth goal for his side as he brilliantly drilled his shot into the bottom corner after receiving a pass from Krupesh Sherwade on the edge of the box.

But there was some joy for Vintage in the final minute of the first half, when Rajesh Revadekar beat the offside trap to get on the end of a fine through ball and slot home after going past the onrushing ICL goalkpeer to make it a half time score of 4-1 in ICL’s favour.

Having restored some hope with a late goal, Vintage Dahisar started the second half on the front foot. But a major turning point in the game came when ICL striker elbowed a Vintage defender in his face early on in the second half and was rightly given his marching orders for the same.

Having been reduced to ten men, Vintage started putting more pressure on ICL and got their reward when N. Khongade scored to reduce the deficit to just two and bring Vintage Dahisar back into the contest.

Despite going down to ten men, ICL continued to toy with the Vintage defense and very nearly scored in the 57th minute when Ajay Kahar’s effort was cleared off the line by Dylon D’Souza. But just two minutes later ICL won a penalty which was converted by Rohit Merchande to restore ICL’s three goal cushion.

But just as we thought ICL had put the game to bed, Vintage scored again through Rishikesh in the 63rd minute to keep the contest alive.

ICL continued to have opportunities on the break as Rohit Merchande was denied his hat-trick thanks to a superb save from the Vintage goalkeeper Shekhar Bhodu in the 72nd minute of the game.

The game took another turn when Aloysius Fernandes brought down a marauding Vintage attacker and was sent off for a second bookable offense. From the resultant freekick, Ashlyn D’Souza scored and set the cat among the pigeons.

Down to nine men and seeing their three goal half-time lead cut just one, ICL were hanging on with five minutes left to play. Vintage Dahisar who had all the momentum in the game nearly equalized in the first minute of stoppage time when Rajesh Revadekar put his header over from just over six yards.

ICL hung on for the win as the referee put an end to an absolute thriller of a game.

Vintage were punished for their slow start as ICL almost gifted them a way back into the game thanks to the two red cards in the second half.

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