UBI edges past a resilient Mumbai Strikers side

15th February 2018, Mumbai: Mumbai Strikers’ fairy-tale run came to an end after they went down fighting against Union Bank of India (UBI) in the second semi-final of RCF Nadkarni Cup 2018 at RCF Ground, Chembur. Union Bank of India (UBI) came back from 2-1 down to win this thrilling contest 3-2 and book their place in the final where they will face Air India on 17th February.

Mumbai Strikers has been on a swansong lately after displaying some attractive football. The Strikers defeated favourites Mumbai Customs and Bank of India (BOI) on the road to the semis. Irrespective of today’s result, Mumbai Strikers has surely proved their doubters wrong.

UBI made a great start when in-form striker Ranjeet Pandre opened the scoring in the 8th minute with a wonderful strike. But Mumbai Strikers picked their game up and responded brilliantly after dominating the first-half. Their hard work paid off when Abhijit Shetty and Ravish D’Souza scored twice within the space of six minutes to go 2-1 up.

But just before the half-time mark, Ranjeet Pandre scored again and levelled the score at 2-2. An interesting first-half came to an end with a sublime goal by UBI’s lethal striker. In the second-half, UBI knew if they sat back, Mumbai Strikers will punish them just like they did in the first-half.

The turning point of the match came in the 54th minute when key midfielder Valentine Pereira made it 3-2 for UBI with a stunning finish. Suddenly, it was Mumbai Strikers who was at the backfoot now. UBI held their nerves and defended well in the last stages of the match to emerge as the winners. On the other end, Mumbai Strikers’ sensational run came to a halt but nonetheless, the Strikers made this tournament a fairy-tale to remember.

 

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