Relentless Mumbai FC overcome a stubborn PIFA Colaba outfit in the U-19 I-League

Junior I-League

Mumbai FC U-19 overcame a resilient Premier India Football Academy (PIFA) Colaba U-19 side 1-0, to register their first win of the Maharshtra Qualifying Zone of the U-19 I-League at Cooperage on 4th January 2015.

It took 17 minutes for the game’s first real attempt and it came from Mumbai FC’s Prince Anandraj who struck a brilliant half volley which sailed inches over the PIFA Colaba crossbar.

Mumbai FC were seeing more of the ball without troubling PIFA’s Manish Shetty in goal. Mumbai came close in the 29th minute through Prince Anandraj again but this time his effort, resulting from a loose clearance, was less emphatic as his shot was well wide off the target.

Mumbai FC’s Girik Khosla was pulled back for a foul, as he battled past the PIFA defence in the 36th minute, but his run was too strong for the referee’s liking.

Manish Shetty, the PIFA shot stopper came out the worst in that challenge as he had to be substituted in the 41st minute by Yasheel Shah in goal.

The stoppage meant there were a chunk of stoppage time minutes, before the start of which PIFA Colaba nearly took a surprise lead the Mumbai FC defence made a mess of a cross from PIFA’s right flank as the ball rolled towards the empty goal. But Mumbai FC cleared in time, only for the clearance to be met by PIFA’s Pragnesh Solanki, whose effort struck the upright.

In the 4th minute of stoppage time, Girik Khosla found himself through on the PIFA goal but his goal bound attempt was brilliantly blocked by the retreating PIFA defender Shumil Shaikh.

The game was goalless as the referee blew for half time. Mumbai FC had failed to make their long spells of possession count. PIFA would have been relatively happy having reduced Mumbai FC to very few chances and being the closest of the two teams to open the scoring.

Mumbai FC had a low more swagger to their play in the second half, as they started in a similar fashion, holding the PIFA goal under siege. But this time they looked likelier to score than in the first half causing few moments of panic in the PIFA defensive third.

Mumbai FC were inches away from taking the lead when Mumbai FC’s Girik Khosla headed back from a long ball as the ball looped just wide of the goal. Mumbai FC had begun to ask a lot of questions at the PIFA rearguard who had the answers till then.

Eight minutes later, Yasheel Shah made a brilliant save to deny Prathamesh Rokade who had unleashed an effort on goal. The PIFA goalkeeper was called upon yet again from the resulting corner as he made another brilliant save from close range.

Mumbai FC are awarded a penalty in the 75th minute after a header seemed to have hot Deepak Mahindra’s hand. Prince Anandraj stepped up but his low effort was saved by substitute goalkeeper Yasheel Shah to deny Mumbai FC the lead.
Mumbai FC though were not to be kept out for long as Nachiket Palav’s attempted cross went straight in, in the 78th minute as Mumbai FC finally got their goal and a much deserved lead.

PIFA blew a good chance to equalize after a good piece of skill from Mohammed Atif had a two on two situation for PIFA Colaba, but Mohammed Atif over hit the cross and the chance fizzled out.
Mumbai FC almost doubled the advantage as Girik Khosla hit the upright from a header after meeting a cross from the right flank.

PIFA’s evening was pretty much up when Martin Assisi saw red after a second bookable offence. The referee confirmed Mumbai FC’s victory when he blew the final whistle.

Mumbai FC registered their first win of the competition and they had to work very hard against a very well organized PIFA Colaba side, but their perseverance was rewarded in the end as they walked away with all three points.

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