Western shoot down Navy to lift Independence Cup

Mumbai, August 15: Western Railway held their nerves in the crucial tie-breaker to overcome Indian Navy 5-4 via the tie-breaker in the final of the Independence Cup 2015 football tournament, organised by MDFA (Mumbai District Football Association) and played at the St. Xavier’s ground, Parel on Saturday.

After full time finished in a goalless draw, the railwaymen successfully converted all their five attempts in the penalty shootout through Ravikant Naidu, Somi P.T., Linekar Machado, Somanth Mondal and Anil Pawar to emerge champions for the third time. Defending champions Indian Navy could manage to score only four goals with Sunil Naik, Riyadh B., V. Lalchhuanmawia and P.S. Sumesh finding the target. Biplab Dhar’s poor shot was easily saved by Western’s goalkeeper, Jagroop Singh who is a new recruit in the team.

Indian Navy were a bit unlucky not to defend the title. They held the upper hand throughout the match as they showed better coordination and did more off the attacking but they were unable to land the final punch that could have won them the match.

Midway through the second period Wester custodian Jagroop produced an outstanding reflex save as he parried over Dhar’s rasping shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Earlier in the semi-finals, Navy scored two late goals through Bibake Thapa and Vishnu T. to put it across Mumbai Customs by a 2-0 margin, while Western riding on Machado’s double strikes blanked Karnatak SA 4-0. Ravikant Naidu and Vijeesh Vijayan netted the other two goals for the winners.

Shiv Sena leader and Chairperson of Yuva Sena, Aditya Thackeray, who was the Chief Guest, presented the champions trophy and a cash award of Rs 30,000 to Western Railway and the runners-up trophy and cash prize of Rs 20,000 to Indian Navy.

Also witnessing the final was BJP MLA and President of the Mumbai unit, Shri Ashish Shelar.

Results – Final: Western Railway 5 (Ravikant Naidu, Somi P.T., Linekar Machado, Somanth Mondal, Anil Pawar) beat Indian Navy 4 (Sunil Naik, Riyadh B., V. Lalchhuanmawia, P.S. Sumesh) via the tie-breaker. Full-time: 0-0.

Semi-finals: Indian Navy 2 (Bibake Thapa, Vishnu T.) bt Mumbai Customs 0.

Western Railway 4 (Linekar Machado 2, Ravikant Naidu, Vijeesh Vijayan) beat Karnatak SA 0.