Union Sports Club secure crucial 3-0 win over Jai Bharat Sports Club

The second stage of the 20th Late Shri Ramanath Payyade Memorial Football tournament 2015-16 initiated as Group ‘A’ winners Union Sports Club played hosts to Group ‘B’ runners-up Jai Bharat Sports Club in the opening fixture of the Super League phase of the tournament in Group A at The Karnataka Sporting Association ground, Churchgate on 23rd January 2016. After a bright start to the game, Jai Bharat S.C. stumbled to a 3-0 loss to Union S.C., who proved dominant in every department as the game progressed and crossed the finishing line as deserved winners with maximum points.

The first scare on goal came from Jai Bharat S.C., when number 10 Rashid Shaikh combined with number 8 Roger Sam around the half-way mark in the opposite-half as the former produced a final-shot, which went far wide of the right-hand post; minutes later, though, Union S.C. came-up with a reply of their own, when number 19 Akshay Devadiga pounced on to a through ball in-behind the Jai Bharat S.C. defence by number 18 Siddhanth Shetty, but an alert Sachin Shetty in-goal swept-away the danger in-time.

As the first-half crossed its 10th minute mark and the game began to take shape it seemed evident, how desperate both sides were for an opening goal in the game; in-order-to put a mental pressure on their opponent and, then capitalize on their mistakes.

Despite starting the match on a brighter note, Jai Bharat S.C. – after a brief spell – faded as the half matured, which saw Union S.C.’s initial long-ball approach turn fruitful as they went-on to enjoy their best spell of the half, coming agonizingly close to opening the scoring on a handful of occasions, first, number 11 Abhijit Shetty’s headed effort from a dead-ball was somewhat unconvincingly saved by Sachin Shetty in-goal as he got hold of the ball in the second-attempt, after the ball bounced of the goalkeeper’s gloves and on to the post, second, number 17 Ravish D’Souza’s fine effort on goal in a one-on-one situation was saved from going in by Sachin Shetty with his foot.

As it appeared that Union S.C. had lost the chance to frame a goal in the half, Jai Bharat S.C. looked set to creep into the game as number 8 Roger Sam came close with a certain goal-scoring opportunity, but his shot went fractionally over the bar.

Little did it affect the attacking momentum of Union S.C., though, and in the 27th minute they were duly rewarded for their fruitful efforts for a majority portion in the half. Rohit D’Souza crafted a fine volleyed effort from inside the 18-yard-box past Sachin Shetty’s left-hand. The goal carried huge importance for Union S.C. as they went into the second-half with a different mindset, which provided further profitable to their dominance in the tussle. The end-to-end nature of the game to an extend made-up for the lack of goals in the first-half.

Two more goals in the 37th and 54th minute followed in the following half; much of whose blame could be asserted on Jai Bharat S.C.’s goalkeeper Sachin Shetty. First, Akshay Devadiga reacted quickly to raid-in and put the ball in the net, after Sunil Peddamalli’s saved effort fell to the number 19, second, a precise pass by Rohit D’Souza over the Jai Bharat S.C. defence was met by Ravish D’Souza, who went clear-through on goal – beating the high-offside line – to lob the ball over a charging Sachin Shetty in a one-on-one situation to hit the final nail in the coffin.

The win insured Union Sports Club, who, now have an upper-hand, require just a point in their second and last group match against Mogaveera Sports Club on the 30th of January 2016 to qualify for the final in this year’s competition as Group A winners. Although, the finish-line is off-sight, at the moment as Mogaveera S.C. are yet to play their opening game of the group, and chances are slim, but not gone for Jai Bharat Sports Club, who can still pull-out a rabbit from their hat and surprise everyone in the neighborhood!

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