RCF’s late winner sinks struggling PIFA Colaba

Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers (RCF) edged PIFA Colaba 3-2 in the Mumbai District Football Association Elite Division game at Cooperage on Saturday, 24th October 2015, which saw plenty of late drama.

Both the teams came into the game without any win and having failed to reach the heights both the teams reached at certain points last season. PIFA Colaba were third from bottom after losing both their opening games while RCF had only managed a point in the new campaign so far.

The start to the game was  an evidence of the two sides’ struggle for their best form as neither side conjured up any attempts of note.

PIFA Colaba though stepped up the their attacks post the twenty minute mark and should have taken the lead on 26 minutes when midfielder Johnson D’Silva headed a cross from Ashfaq Khan over the crossbar. The PIFA Colaba midfielder should have done better after being totally unmarked in the box.

Couple of minutes later PIFA Colaba were on the front foot once more but were unfortunate not to take the lead after Sushant Jadhav’s left footed effort from just inside the box came off the crossbar.

RCF survived a good spell of attack from PIFA Colaba just before the half hour mark and slowly got into the game. PIFA Colaba allowed the RCF midfielders plenty of time to pick out runners who were getting plenty of joy running past a slightly sluggish PIFA Colaba backline.

PIFA’s right full back Ashfaq Khan misjudged a pass from the midfield which allowed RCF’s Craig M to run at the PIFA goal. But goalkeeper Karun Kumar did well to block his shot and bail PIFA Colaba out.

However, Kumar was largely at fault in the 38th minute when he allowed Troy Nuen’s rather weak effort to escape his clutches as RCF went into the lead.

Yet another lofted pass from midfield led to PIFA Colaba’s undoing as centre back Scott D’Souza failed to clear the danger which allowed Troy Nuen to get his shot away.

RCF held their crucial advantage after a tight opening first half and looked more threatening as the half drew to a close.

PIFA Colaba were better at the start of the second half and Faraz Ahmed had a great chance to equalize in the 52nd minute after he was played through on goal. But the marauding PIFA Colaba forward was denied by a superb piece of goalkeeping from RCF’s Adil Ansari who snatched the ball Faraz’s feet at the crucial juncture to preserve RCF’s lead.

PIFA Colaba almost commited  suicide when Kevin Patrick robbed PIFA’s last man Ashfaq Khan to send a dipping effort on goal, which unfortunately bounced off the crossbar and went out.

PIFA who were let off the hook, made amends and won a penalty in the 73rd minute, which was coolly slotted the by Faraz Ahmed who scored PIFA Colaba’s first goal of the season.

But just when PIFA thought they were on course for their first point of the season, RCF regained the lead through Troy Nuens who once again capitalised on a poor piece of goalkeeping from Karun Kumar who was caught in no man’s land while trying to come off his line to collect the ball. But Nuens had plenty to do as he brilliantly squeezed his shot in from a tight angle to put RCF ahead with ten minutes to play.

But PIFA Colaba managed to conjure up one more attack which culminated in their equaliser in the 89th minute, when the RCF defence completely switched off allowing Johnson D’Silva to venture unmarked in the RCF box to tap home a cross from the right flank.

But there was to be a sting in the tale as RCF went to the other end and netted the winner through Craig M who fired home after being unchallenged in the box in the 2nd minute of added time.

The goal was a sickener for PIFA Colaba who had little time to respond as Adil Ansari did brilliantly to tip over a free kick from Faraz Ahmed deep into stoppage time and seal the win for RCF.

It was a great display of character from RCF to keep believing till the last minute and were rewarded with the three points.

Questions continue to be raised on PIFA Colaba who fell to yet another defeat after coming so close to getting a point.


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