Solid Xavier’s Boys see off battling Utkarsh Mandal

Xavier’s Boys beat Utkarsh Mandal 2-0 in the 2nd Division of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) at St. Xavier’s Ground in Parel on Saturday, 22nd August 2015.
The first half was a tight affair with few attempts on target for either side, but the first real effort came from the Xavier’s Boys when Kiran Saigaonkar volleyed a cross from the right flank onto the crossbar in the 4th minute of the game.

The shot didn’t dip enough for Saigaonkar’s liking as Utkarsh Mandal escaped a real scare early on. As the half progressed, Utkarsh Mandal began to assert themselves on the game, pushing Xavier’s Boys back into their own half.

Xavier’s Boys had the edge in terms of physicality over their Vile Parle h opponents and the men from Parel made it a fight. Xavier’s Boys’ Atish Ruke earned the first booking of the game in the 11th minute of the game as he chopped off Utkarsh Mandal’s Aniket Bhatkhande with very little intention of getting the ball.

Despite dominating the ball, Utkarsh Mandal were finding it hard to make inroads in the Xavier’s Boys defense. Xavier’s Boys had a couple of good chances on the counter attack but the Utkarsh Mandal defense were alert to the danger and dealt with the danger.

The first half ended goalless with Utkarsh Mandal being he dominant of the two sides in terms of possession while Xavier’s Boys enjoyed the better chances.

The second half seemed to have a similar pattern until Utkarsh Mandal’s Rakesh Deoraj handled the ball while trying to control and gifted a penalty to Xavier’s Boys.

Xavier’s Boys’ Clifford Gareth emphatically dispatched the penalty kick in the 43rd minute to give Xavier’s Boys the lead in the game.

Utkarsh Mandal upped the tempo of their play trying to rescue a point but the men from Parel made it more of a battle as the referee continued to keep the whistle in his hand and the cards in his pocket.
As Utkarsh Mandal pushed ahead in search of the equalizer, gaps appeared in their defense which was exploited by the Xavier’s Boys who doubled their lead five minutes from time as Kiran Saigaonkar tapped in an empty goal after cross from the left flank found him free at the far post.

The second goal killed Utkarsh Mandal who succumbed to their second defeat of the campaign despite putting in a laudable performance. The young Utkarsh Mandal side lacked a cutting edge upfront against a physically strong Xavier’s Boys defense.

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