ONGC shake off a slow start to ease past Central Bank of India

Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) had to wait until the hour mark to break down Central Bank of India (CBI) to run out 3-0 winners eventually in the Elite division match of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) at Cooperage on 23rd March 2015.

ONGC were held in their previous game against RCF and needed to avoid any further hick-ups. ONGC started the game well against CBI who had quite a few key players missing.

Despite the early dominance, ONGC failed to muster any goal scoring opportunities in the opening quarter of the game.

It was a hot day in Mumbai and the referees decided to have a water break at the end of twenty four minutes.

The break failed to add any spark to the game which was being played at a very low intensity. CBI were happy to allow ONGC have the ball but the oil men were very sluggish in the first half.

ONGC came close to taking the lead in the 38th minute when F.Lalmuanpuia sent his header from a corner just over the crossbar.

Six minutes later CBI conjured up a swift counter attack which set up Dion Menezes whose shot was well saved by the ONGC goalkeeper Agnelo Gomes low to his left.

The scoreline remained 0-0 at half time and both teams lacked the spark upfront to create enough openings.

ONGC had a lot more fluidity to their play in the second half as they moved the ball a lot quicker. A crisp move in the 56th minute saw Vivek Kaira in a shooting position for ONGC but his effort failed to hit the target.

Just as CBI thought they had coped with the early second half pressure, ONGC got the breakthrough when Nitesh Monde’s cushioned header was turned in by Karan Atwal from six yards out in the 60th minute.

The goal came as a huge relief for ONGC as they broke down a compact CBI defence.

The goal was the trigger for the ONGC machine to kick start as they doubled their lead ten minutes later when Kailash Patil’s cross was deflected into his own net by Ritick Mukherjee to seal the points for ONGC.

ONGC threatened to run riot as Lavino Fernandes’ overhead effort came off the crossbar in the 73rd minute.

But much to CBI’s credit they did not give up the hope of grabbing something from the game and not just stemmed the flow of ONGC attacks but also managed to peg them back in their own half.

But as CBI went chasing the game, it left gaps for ONGC to exploit and Tariq Ahammed rounded off a good second half showing with a third goal for ONGC in the final of the three minutes of stoppage time.

ONGC got back to winning ways but were made to toil for it by a CBI side depleted in terms of personnel but not in terms of spirit and desire.

The win propelled ONGC into the sixth spot with eleven points from five games while CBI remained in the 10th spot with seven points in as many games.

Earlier in the day, Union Bank of India beat PIFA Colaba 2-0 with goals from Titus Uttankar and Mrunal Tandel in the MDFA Elite Division.

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