Raju Meetei nets a last gasp winner as RCF derail Central Railways

MDFA (Mumbai District Football Association)

Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers left it very late against Central Railways as a goal in the 94th minute gave the Chembur outfit a 1-0 victory.

The game was heading for a dull goalless draw before Raju Meetei struck gold for RCF deep into stoppage time. Both, RCF and Central Railways were looking to bounce back from defeats in their respective last games in the Elite Division. Central Railways were thrashed by Union Bank of India by a margin of 4-0, while RCF narrowly went down to PIFA Colaba by a more respectable margin of 4-3.

The game started slowly with both teams struggling to create good chances to score. RCF slowly started to have more of the ball, but they had to wait upto 15 minutes for their first attempt of any note, whem Angampu headed over from a Nishant Rana cross.

RCF continued to dominate the ball, but failed to work Pradeep Kumar who was in goal for Central Railways. Their best opportunity of the half came in the 29th minute when, Nishant Rana did brilliantly to get on the end of a cleared header to cut back for Kevin Patrick who fired his shot over the crossbar.

Central Railways won a free kick in a promising position in the 40th minute, but failed to make it count as RCF were able to clear the danger. RCF’s Sidhu Singh headed wide from a corner in the second minute of stoppage time, before the referee signaled for half time.
RCF had more of the ball, but Central Railways were successful in keeping them at bay and it was clear that RCF needed to up the intensity if they were to grab the three points.

The second half had a similar pattern as RCF saw more of the ball without threatening the Central Raiways goal. RCF replaced Kevin Patrick with Gadam in the 71st minute, hoping to spark life into what was panning out to be a very dull game of football.

Two minutes later, the RCF substitute chested down a cross in Raju Meetei’s path, who shot at the Central Railways goal but the sting of the shot was taken away thanks to a block allowing Pradeep Kumar to collect comfortably.
Central Railways who were having a slightly better second half came close to taking the lead in the 80th minute after a well strung move resulted in Central Railway substitute Gagan S. shooting goalwards, but his shot was straight at the RCF goalkeeper Vikram Singh.

But deep into the 4th minute of stoppage time RCF found a way through as Ashish Dawarkar delivered a delicious cross into the box which was headed home by Raju Meetei to send the RCF bench into delirium.

RCF managed to grind out a victory on a day when they were clearly not at their best. It was a cruel blow for Central Railways to concede so late, but it was a game where they hardly offered anything.

It was a very dull game overall with its brightest spot coming right at the end as Raju Meetei’s stoppage time strike earned RCF the points.