FSI Sea View solidifies their lead at the top; beats Bombay Gymkhana 3-1!

8th April, 2018, Mumbai: The league stage of MDFA Super Division continued to roll on, in a boiling Sunday afternoon, here at Mumbai Football Arena when Group A topper FSI-Sea View locked horns with Bombay Gymkhana. A win for Bombay Gymkhana could’ve sufficed well enough for them to leapfrog to the top position while Sea View came into the match with a vision to strengthen their lead atop the table.

But FSI dominated the entire game and handed the first crushing 3-1 defeat of the campaign, to their opponents, courtesy strikes from Rohan Shukla, Jahan Walia and substitute Abhishek Patil. Jardin pulled one back for Bombay Gymkhana at the fag end of the second half but it was too late for them to stage a comeback.

The table toppers looked more composed of the two as Shrikant, Ishaan & Harshil combined well in the midfield, from the beginning; and seemed well set to dictate the proceedings. It took them 8 minutes only, to take the lead through Rohan Shukla, who has to be credited for his presence of mind. The move was initiated by him when he dashed onto the Bombay Gymkhana half, through the left flanks, and his scorcher from 25 yards hit the inside of the crosspiece. But Bombay Gymkhana couldn’t avert the danger as a cross from Shrikant, off the rebound was spilled by their custodian in an attempt to grip the ball. An ever alert Rohan took the full opportunity of the mistake and slotted home to gain an early upperhand for his side.

Few minutes later Bombay Gymkhana got the first whiff of an opportunity when Pablo, from the centre layed off a nice through ball to Vishal, who stormed in from the left flanks only to see a crucial interception by Vatsal Bhatia, the Sea View goalie. Vishal looked threatening with his incisive runs time and again, but couldn’t find the support of his fellow members in the final third as the Krishna-Tushar led FSI defense stood tall in the box.

Bombay Gymkhana, looking for an equaliser had a dominating phase after the first cooling break, but squandered a golden chance, 5 minutes prior to the break; when Samarth missed from the spot, after they got a penalty courtesy a handball in the box by Ashish, who was operating as the right back for FSI-Sea View. But Samarth the Gymkhana centre back was at fault of hitting to the left side of Vatsal who made the move to his left as soon as Samarth started his run up to the spotkick. It was match-changing moment from the FSI custodian who was exceptional throughout the match. Time and again he came off the blocks to thwart the Bombay Gymkhana onslaught as well as the flurry of mis-connected back passes from his defense line; as he ensured that the table toppers to go into the break with the lead intact.

The second half started with both the sides engaging in a battle of possession. While, Kartik assumed the role of the playmaker from the middle for Bombay Gymkhana, Shrikant, Ashish & Ishaan controlled the distribution for the FSI side.

Siddhartha Pinto had a cracking attempt from 40 yards which took aback all the FSI players except for their custodian who leapt on to his weak side to affect a handsome save. Vishal continued with his breezy runs down the right flanks but couldn’t split the FSI defense in the final front. In search of an elusive equaliser Bombay Gymkhana played a high backline which eventually paved the way for the second goal of the match.

Somewhat against the run of the play, FSI doubled their lead in the 54th minute courtesy a nice counter attack. It was ball from the middle that found Rohan Shukla ahead of the Bombay Gymkhana full back at the left touchline. Rohan carried the ball a bit and squarred it off to middle where Jahaan Walia latched on to it and provided a clinical finish to increase the lead for the table toppers.

Bombay Gymkhana had several attempts but failed miserably in the final third to make those chances count. One of their best attempt was when Jardin overcame one defender from the left and squarred a dangerous through ball to Kasturbh who couldn’t finish it off much to the dismay of their technical staffs.

At the stroke of an hour the FSI playing coach Agnelo Fernandez came on for the goalscorer Jahaan and immediately started to stretch Bombay Gymkhana defense as he provided great forward through balls for the two wingers Rohan and Abhishek. His repeated through balls opened up the Bombay Gymkhana defense culminating in the third goal for them few minutes later.

It was the third and final goal for them in the 72nd minute when youngster Abhishek Patil reaped the fruits of all the hard work done by his coach. Fernandez after getting a pass along the left flank allowed the ball to stretch their opponent’s defense and took out both the defender and goalie with deft footwork, before passing it to Abhishek who put it into an open net to paving a comfortable way for their 5th victory.

FSI could’ve increased their lead further, when Fernandez provided another forward through to Abhishek who, trying to complete a brace, had Jahaan the Bombay Gymkhana defender pulling of a successful sliding tackle to inflict an important block to deny FSI their 4th goal. The resulting corner saw Rohan shooting a volley just above the crosspiece.

7 minutes later Jardin reduced the margin as he scored the only consolation goal for Bombay Gymkhana, barging in from the flanks and putting it past the FSI goalkeeper.Bombay Gymkhana tried their best to stage a comeback but it was too late for them as the final whistle went on to complete a 5th victory for FSI in 6 matches.

With this win FSI solidifies their top spot in group A with 15 points from 6 matches while Bombay Gymkhana stays put at the 4th position with 10 points after suffering their first loss of the campaign.