Leaders Indian Navy edge out gutsy Union Bank of India

League Leaders Indian Navy continued their 100% start to the season as they narrowly edged past a spirited Union Bank of India 1-0 in the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) Elite Division match held at Cooperage on Wednesday, 14th October 2015.

Indian Navy got off to a dream start when Bibake Thapa fired Leaders into 2nd minute lead, after he coolly slotted into the bottom corner having latched onto a perfectly waited through ball from midfield.

UBI didn’t get bogged down by the early blow and enjoyed a good spell of possession in Navy’s half around the tenth minute mark, but failed to get past the resolute Indian Navy defence.

In the 24th minute, Navy had a great chance to double their lead when Raman Rai did extremely well to get a cross in for the goalscorer Bibake Thapa whose effort at the near post was well collected by UBI goalkeeper Rohan Indulkar.

Both team made changes in the first half as Navy replaced Vikramjeet Singh with Vishnu T, while Shravan Shetty came on for Velantine Pereira just before the half hour mark.

Indian Navy ended the first half on the front foot as they worked the flanks well and whipped in few crosses in the box which were dealt with by the UBI defenders as a tight first half came to a close with that early Bibake Thapa strike the difference between the two sides.

Union Bank started the second half brightly and put Indian Navy on the backfoot. UBI won a free kick few yards outside the box in the 49th minute. Khalid Siddhique’s curling effort from the free kick went few inches wide of the target as warning bells started ringing in the Indian Navy defence.

UBI worked out some decent openings on the break in the second half but neither were good enough to break down the stern Navy defence.

UBI put Navy under some real pressure in the last five minutes of the game when they won a series of corners. From half heartedly cleared corner in the 86th minute, Calton D’Mello struck a fine half volley which took a reflection to recoched wide of the target, much to the relief of the of wrong-footed Indian Navy goalkeeper Vishnu VK.

Vishu VK had a splendid game in goal as he constantly pouched numerous crosses which UBI put in his box.

Referee’s whistle confirmed a fourth straight win for Indian Navy as they cemented their place at the top of the table with a five point lead over Air India and ONGC.

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