MDFA Nadkarni Cup: Air India setup title clash with HDFC

HDFC snub Mumbai City FC U18 challenge to setup title clash against defending champions Air India, who overcame a stiff resistance from Mumbai Customs in the semi-finals

HDFC snub Mumbai City FC U18 challenge to setup title clash against defending champions Air India, who overcame a stiff resistance from Mumbai Customs in the semi-finals

In what was a high profile encounter, defending Nadkarni Cup champions Air India faced off against defending Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs in the first semi-final of 2019 Nadkarni Cup.

Air India started off brightly with good amount of possession but were unable to breach the strong defence of Mumbai Customs. Midway through the first half, Air India were awarded a golden opportunity of taking lead when the referee pointed towards the spot after a foul inside the box. However, Johnson D’silva struck his shot wide off the target to give Mumbai Customs a relief. Striker Sanchit Singh attempted a bicycle kick not long after, but failed to connect as first half ended with score still a 0-0.

In the second half, Air India came out with all guns blazing as the team took 2-0 lead within five minutes of the start. Azza Norrani opened the scoring a minute into the game after Sanchit’s initial shot was deflected on to his path. Couple of minutes later, Rosenberg headed Azza Norrani cross in to the net to make it 2-0. Air India then controlled the proceedings with customs Goalkeeper Liyaz Koya being called in to actions more often then not, including two good saves to deny Vijit Shetty and Johnson a goal. The game ended at 2-0 as Customs failed to mount a late comeback, this time around.

It was a good game for us; especially after missing the penalty we didn’t lose hope and continued trying hard to win. I also played for customs for last 3 years so that experience helped in understanding our opponent.

At half time, our Coach told us not to worry about the penalty and keep on playing the game which we did and eventually we got the needed result. Now the focus is on the finals. We won’t lose the tempo and will work hard to win the cup.

– Rossenburg Gabriel, Air India

Feature article:  Untold stories of Mumbai Football: Indomitable spirit of Kasif Jamal

In the second semi-final of the day, tournament’s surprise package – Mumbai City FC U18, faced off against another underdogs of the tournaments – HDFC, with the latter gaining a comfortable victory.

The Junior Islanders took an early lead when Sarvesh Bangar’s 11th minute attempt found the back of net. However, HDFC Bank bounced back immediately scoring four goals in the space of 20 minutes as HDFC headed to break with 4-1 score.

Pragnesh Solanki opened the flood gates in the 28th minute with a neatly finished penalty before a poor clearance from City keeper allowed Niyaz patel to capitalise and produce a clean strike for the 2nd goal. As the break approached Prashant Rane headed the third from a corner to make it 3-1 for HDFC. Seconds before whistle in a counter-attacking passage of play, Pragnesh completed his brace to take the score to 4-1.

Post break, Junior Islanders attempted to make a comeback but found it difficult to breach the defence of HDFC, who were happy to sit back with three goal comfortable lead. Minutes before full-time, a long ball forward found Wilsh D’Souza who placed the ball past the keeper to pull one back for the islanders. The game ended at 4-2 scoreline with HDFC now setting up title clash against defending champions Air India.

It has been an excellent campaign so far. We were the underdogs of this tournament, nobody gave us much chance but still we have made it to the final. Guys have worked very hard and the results shows. Now we aim to win the finals too. Against the MCFC reserve team, the coach asked us to keep it simple and aim to beat them in pace.

It was an excellent performance from us and I would rate it as 9/10 performance. The young lads of MCFC played well too and have a lot of potential which they can learn by gaining experience. Our preparation for final is quite simple. Rest as much as possible since it has been such a rigorous tournament. Maybe we would have a couple of practice session before the final.

– Titus Uttankar, HDFC Captain

Results – Nadkarni Cup

Air India (Azza Norrani 46’, Rosenberg 50’) 2 – 0 Mumbai Custom

HDFC Bank (Pragnesh 28’, 45+2’, Niyaz Patel 38’, Prashant 45’) 4 – 2 Mumbai City FC U18 (Sarvesh Bangar 11’, Wilsh D’souza 89’)


For upcoming fixtures and Group table of Nadkarni Cup: Visit here


For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football
Also Read: Old but still Gold: Mumbai’s old warhorses can still pull strings on-field

Football Counter would love to hear your thoughts or feedback on your experience: Feedback on Football Counter experience

OSCAR SSE to conduct trials for Youth I League and YPL team in the U13 category in Mumbai

Mumbai-based OSCAR SSE will conduct trials for their Youth I League and YPL team on 16th and 17th July 2022 at Wings Sports Centre ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star…

Share

ROQS to host trials for MFA Super Division

ROQS is revamping their squad for the upcoming season of the MFA Super Division. The team is organising trials for the men’s football team on Monday, 11th of July, 2022….

Share

MSP Academy is holding trials for the upcoming MFA Youth League

MFA Super Division club Mumbai Soccer Prodigies will be conducting trials for their MFA Youth League campaign on 22nd May 2022 in Bandra, Mumbai. Founded in 2006, the Mumbai Soccer…

Share

Football School of India to conduct Youth Trials

Mumbai-based Football School of India is going to conduct youth trials for its boys and girls squads. The trials will be conducted for players in the age group of under-13…

Share

Bengaluru FC Elite Youth Football Trials

Bengaluru Football Club is a professional club that competes in the Indian Super League (ISL) and are past champions of the I-League and ISL. The club has launched its Soccer…

Share

D’Souza Football Academy to conduct Youth Trials

Mumbai-based D’Souza Football Academy is going to conduct football scholarship trials for its youth squads. The trials will be conducted for players in the age group of under-7 to under-15….

Share

Oscar SSE to conduct trials for Youth I-League in U13, U15&U18 category in Mumbai

OSCAR SSE, an AIFF Accredited Academy invites all  U13, U15 & U18  players from ALL SOCIO-ECONOMIC  backgrounds for football trials to join our Elite teams to train round the year…

Share

Air India to conduct senior team trials for MFA Elite League on Monday

Mumbai-based Air India FC is set to conduct trials for their Senior Team to play the MFA Elite (Corporate) Division. One of the top-tier clubs from Mumbai – Air India…

Share

Air India to hold youth team trials on Monday

Mumbai-based Air India FC is set to conduct trials for their Youth Team for the MFA Super (Corporate) Division. One of the top-tier clubs from Mumbai – Air India will…

Share

Bhaichung Bhutia’s Residential Academy set to conduct trials in Mumbai

16th March, 2022: Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools (BBFS) will conduct Residential Academy trials in Maharashtra for the academic year 2022-23.  In the next few months, the trials will be organized…

Share