Nadkarni Cup: Hat-trick of titles for Air India

For the third consecutive year, Air India emerged champions of Rustomjee - MDFA Nadkarni Cup after the defending champions beat HDFC 2-1 thrilling finale

For the third consecutive year, Air India emerged champions of Rustomjee – MDFA Nadkarni Cup after the defending champions beat HDFC 2-1 in a thrilling finale played at Cooperage Ground, Churchgate.

In a thrilling contest between Air India’s attack and HDFC’s defence, it was the former that finally managed to break the resilience of the opponent to win the title. This was Air India’s eighth Nadkarni Cup trophy.

The game began with Air India starting brightly, stitching up some good moves in the attacking half. Rosenberg had an early opportunity to put his side in to the lead when he manage to dribble past HDFC’s Centre back to pull the trigger only for Goalkeeper Prakash Chauhan to deny him the goal.

However, Air India took the lead in 33rd minute, when striker Suraj Negi attempt from a volley hit the inside of the post and nestled in the back of the net to make it 1-0 in favour of Air India.

In the second half, Air India once again looked confident on the ball creating number of chances including a tight free-kick from Ashique, only for an excellent Prakash Chauhan between the sticks denying them goals.

Midway through the second half, Air India managed to break HDFC defence again when in the 71st minute a shot from Azza was initially blocked but as the ball looped up in the air, an alert striker Sanchit Singh’s flicked header beat the keeper and found the back of the net.

With game rapidly slipping away, HDFC tried to make a comeback but chances were hard to come by. Finally, in the 85th minute, a counter attacking move saw striker Titus Uttankar slot the ball past the keeper to pull a goal back for HDFC. Despite a late surge from HDFC, Air India stood tall to see the game through and lift the title for three times in a row.


Nadkarni Cup: Final

Air India (Suraj Negi 33’, Sanchit Singh 71’) 2 – 1 HDFC (Titus Uttankar 85’)

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For fixture list and Group table of Nadkarni Cup: Visit here

Also Read: Untold stories of Mumbai Football: Indomitable spirit of Kasif Jamal
Also Read: Sandesh Jhingan: ” Our work starts immediately after the final whistle, and we never rest on laurels.”

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