PIFA Colaba see off a late RCF fight back to edge a seven goal thriller in the MDFA Elite Division

Premier India Football Academy (PIFA) Colaba survived a late RCF rally, as they ran out 4-3 winners against Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCF) in an early morning kick off of the Elite Division of MDFA (Mumbai District Football Association) at Cooperage on 6th January 2015.

The game got off to a lively start with both teams looking sharp early on. It was RCF with the first opening in the game when Angainpu found himself in space on the left side of the PIFA box, only for him to put his effort wide. It was a poor miss in the end having so much time in front of goal and just the keeper to beat.

PIFA though made no mistake in converting their very first opportunity in the 10th minute when a beautifully threaded through ball from midfield found Deep Morjani in space behind the RCF backline as he squared Elvis Ozowara who finished from six yards to put the Colaba outfit in front.

The game had a great flow to it as RCF created another opening when Deep Morjani was played in by Ashish Dawajkar in the 16th minute, as the former failed to keep his shot on target which went well wide in the end. It was another good chance which went begging for RCF.

A minute later, at the other end Pranay D. send his shot over the crossbar after nice intricate play between Elvis Ozowara and Ganesh Kamat created the opening for a shot on the RCF goal.

After the bright opening twenty minutes, the fizz went out of the game thanks to a few injury lay-offs around the half hour mark. The 36th minute saw a major talking point as RCF’s Sandeep Upadhye lunged in on the PIFA offender. It was dangerous tackle, for which he was booked, but the PIFA camp were furious as they felt it was too soft a punishment as they believed the RCF No.2 deserved a red.

PIFA missed a glorious chance to double their lead in the final regulation minute of the first half as Elvis Ozowara failed to make a telling connection after a comedy of errors resulted in ball falling in his path.
In the third minute of stoppage time, PIFA goalkeeper James Swami made good save, low to his left after Raju Meetei was allowed to turn and have a shot at the PIFA goal.

That was the last piece of action of an eventful and entertaining first half, which was finely edged by PIFA Colaba who went into the interval with a one goal advantage.

The second half started in similar fashion, as both teams were playing with a high tempo. In the 51st minute, PIFA’s Elwis Ozowara broke away from the RCF defence as he delivered a dangerous cross across the face of the PIFA goal, which just evaded awaiting Zeeshan Shaikh, thanks to a vital touch from goalkeeper Vikram Singh.

PIFA won a free kick on their right flank, just outside the penalty area, from which PIFA doubled their advantage after Elwis Ozowara whipped in the free kick which was helped in byPIFA’s Jay Panarkar in the 55th minute.
Two minutes later PIFA almost made it three, but were denied by an absolute blinder of a save by RCF’s Vikram Singh. But they were not be denied in the 61st minute when Zeeshan Shaikh added a third as he slotted home a cross from the left flank.

Ubaid Ansari pulled one back for RCF in the 63rd minute to blow life back into the game, only for Elwis Ozowara to quash any hopes of a RCF comeback getting PIFA’s fourth goal after Raunak K had squared him up, capitalizing on a defensive lapse from RCF.

Elwis Ozowara was sensing a hat-trick as he was one on one with the goalkeeper, but unfortunately for PIFA forward, his effort hit the upright. Elwis Ozowara was proving to be a real handful for the RCF defence as he was involved in nearly all the goals PIFA scored.

Elwis Ozowara was involved yet again in the 75th minute, when he chased down a through ball from Pranay D. and twist and turn the RCF defender to drill a cross across the face of the goal. Fortunately for RCF, it was cleared in time. It was absolutely to class from the African forward.

PIFA substitute Lestor C. did brilliantly to keep the ball in play and pass to to Elwis Ozowara who beat a couple of defenders to shoot inches wide of the left hand side post in the 83rd minute.

PIFA blew a great chance to make it five in the 86th minute, Ganesh Kamat shot horribly over the crossbar after Zeeshan Shaikh picked him out with a cross at the far post.

The sensational Elwis Ozowara was taken off in the 88th minute and was replaced by Arvind K. Two minutes later, RCF reduced the deficit as Gadam scored for the Chembur outfit. The linesman had initially raised the flag for offside but the referee over ruled the decision to award RCF the goal.

RCF were to grab another goal in the third minute of stoppage time as Rahul Jadhav headed home from a foot off the goal, to make it 4-3 and have the cat among the pigeons. But there was barely time for RCF to steal a draw as referee blew for full time almost immediately after the restart.

PIFA nearly made a mess of what seemed to be a comfortable morning for Colobaites, but RCF left it way too late as they make their way back homr to Chembur empty handed.

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