Reserve Bank of India lift First Division title defeating HDFC Bank 1-0

The victorious Reserve Bank of India team make a happy picture after winning their MDFA First Division title on Saturday. Reserve Bank defeated HDFC 1-0 in the final.

An individual moment of brilliance 4 minutes from time by Abhishek Ambekar seperated the two team at the full-time whistle in an overall balanced encounter.

In the final chapter of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) First Division, Reserve Bank of India played hosts to HDFC at Cooperage ground, Churchgate on Saturday, 19th March, 2016.

Route to the final: in the first semifinal, HDFC Bank fought their way to the final after beating Chheda Nagar by 1-0, whereas Century Rayon were defeated 2-0 by Reserve Bank of India in the second semifinal.

HDFC started the first-half brightly, creating a couple of chances inside the first-5 minutes, but weren’t accurate enough to generate a goalscoring opportunity. The first real-chance to test the Reserve Bank of India goalkeeper came on the 7th minute mark for HDFC, when a good cross by Kevin D’Silva down the left-flank to an unmarked no.30 Sheldon Benny inside box, produced an excellent save from the goalkeeper Bhushan Patil to deny a first-time hit volley by the no.30.

In reply, a short-spell of attacking pressure from Reserve Bank of India down the left-flank brought the hosts a potential goalscoring opportunity from a free-kick chance around the left-side of the 18-yard-box, which Abhishek Ambekar narrowly failed to test the goalkeeper from.

As the first-half matured, both sides displayed an intent to play open attacking football; although, neither created any real trouble for either of the defence in the process. Whilst circulating the ball better, HDFC failed in creating any real opportunity up-front due to lack of options in the middle. On the other-hand, Reserve Bank of India, who played a majority of the first-half on the break, looked the most threatening during set-piece opportunities.
A neck-to-neck tie created ample of half-chances and a handful of real goalscoring possibilities, but a too cautious approach from either side, and a lack of general understanding in attack concluded the first-half, in an otherwise entertaining game at 0-0.

A change in approach was on the cards as the second-half of a balanced final tie started, and the half began at an exciting pace for Reserve Bank of India as they dominated the first-10 minutes of the second-half; creating a whole host of shots on goal. But, failed to make a good fortune out of it.

Despite a change in approach, things did not seemed to change for both the teams as pressure and frustration started to grow amongst the players on the field, resulting in rash challenges, fouls and unnecessary arguments amongst the players. With a growing lackluster performance in the attacking-area from either side, the game desperately needed an individual moment of brilliance to shift the momentum to another team’s favour.

The individual moment of magic came in 4 minutes before the end of normal-time, when a dazzling solo-run by Abhishek Ambekar down the right-flank was rounded-up with a calm one-on-one finish, after the goalscorer had maneuvered his way past a hurdle of H.D.F.C. defenders while cutting inside.

In the time remaining, HDFC pushed hard for an equalizing goal, but it proved too little too late for the away-team as referee Trinal blew the full-time whistle.

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