29th September 2017, Mumbai (MDFA): The new campaign of Mumbai District Football Association – MDFA Elite Division went underway yesterday at Cooperage Stadium. Western Railway took on Union Bank of India (UBI) in an intense clash which saw UBI clinching the match in the very last minute, courtesy of Dion Menezes’ strike.
The match started off slowly. Both the sides took their time to settle into the game but in terms of physicality, the first-half saw a number of tackles and challenges flying in both the ends. The first genuine opportunity came midway into the first-half.
Union Bank of India’s Sherwyn Chang almost opened the scoring when his powerful shot was denied by Western Railway’s Goalkeeper Jagroop Singh. A few moments later, Valentine Pereira also fancied his luck, which was once again thwarted by Jagroop.
With the first-half closing in, the deadlock was finally broken when UBI’s Goalkeeper Prathamesh Baban made a costly error as he, unfortunately, let the ball slip and into the path of prowling Reuben D’Souza who comfortably clipped in the opening goal of the match.
The second-half was no less than the first in terms of match tempo and grit of both the teams. In search of an equalizer, UBI almost levelled the score through Siddharth Shetty who combined superbly with Sherwyn Chang on the right flank.
UBI consistent pressure on Western Railway finally paid off in the 81st minute of the match when defender Prabal handled the ball inside the penalty box. Referee Dinesh Yadav pointed towards the spot as Striker Scott D’Souza stepped ahead to take the following penalty.
The number 10 made no mistake as he comfortably placed his penalty in the back of the net to level the score. UBI’s Substitute Bryce Miranda made a terrific impact after coming on as wrecked havoc on the left flank with his quick feet and pace.
In the stoppage time, Bryce cut aside from the left flank and delivered a dangerous ball across the goal to find Dion Menezes, who tapped in from close range to snatch all three points from their counterpart Western Railway. The curtain raiser of the Elite Division itself proved to be the thrilling match, surely, it’s a first of many.