Saaqib Merchant’s goal helps Rizvi Ceramics to lift the MDFA 3rd division title

Riding on Saaqib Merchant solitary goal, Rizvi Ceramics registered a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Godrej & Boyce to lift the MDFA (Mumbai District Football Association) 3rd division title, at St. Xavier’s ground in Parel.

The lone goal came in the 18th minute when Saaqib Merchant placed his right footed shot perfectly into the bottom corner to give his side a deserving lead. Apart from Saaqib’s strike, Rizvi Ceramics did had number of great opportunities to double their lead but couldn’t manage to convert their half-chances.

In the 12th minute, Rizvi Ceramics could have taken the lead well before Saaqib’s goal when Mazhar Ali set Divesh Baria through on goal, who only managed to hit his attempt wide.

Godrej & Boyce couldn’t emulate their semi-final performance where they had defeated Indigo FC 1-0 to book their place in the final.

Pritesh Poojari, James Passanha, Omkar Sawant and Ajay Deb Barma had a fine game for Godrej & Boyce, but all their efforts went down the drain as they couldn’t find the much needed equalizer.

In the dying minutes of the match, Godrej came twice close to score the equalizer but Rizvi Ceramics held on to win the 3rd division title.

Rizvi Ceramics’ Ali Memon who was badly injured in the round of 16 match was also present during the match, and later in the closing ceremony he was felicitated by MDFA which was a fantastic gesture from the committee.

There was more to come for Rizvi Ceramics’ as their star player Rahul Salian was awarded with the ‘MDFA 3rd division player of the season’ award.

Earlier in the Third place match, FC Mumbaikar ‘A’ prevailed over Skorost FC by a 2-1 margin. Noah D’Costa and Vikas Howal, both scored a goal each in the second half to secure the win for FC Mumbaikar ‘A’ after Sylvester Pereira had scored the opening goal to give Skorost FC a first half lead.

The champions Rizvi Ceramics were presented with the winners’ trophy and cash prize of Rs 30,000. Godrej & Boyce received the runners-up trophy and a cash award of Rs 20,000 while FC Mumbaikar ‘A’ received a cash prize Rs 10,000 for finishing third.

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