Hosts Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCF) just about edged out Maharashtra State Police (MSP) by the odd goal in three as the Nadkarni Cup kicked off at the RCF ground in Chembur on Wednesday. In a match that lacked excitement,both teams seemed to run out of ideas around the 18-yard box at either end.
RCF drew first blood in the very first minute,when MSP goalkeeper,Mosin Khan parried a shot taken by an RCF striker,only to find Sagar Chile on top of the box receiving the ball and putting it past Khan with a crisp drive. Azar Shaikh equalized for MSP in the 35th minute with a pile-driver from 25 yards,beating the diving RCF goalkeeper,Vian Joseph all ends up.
With both teams tiring,there was little action in the second half. MSP who were slightly fitter than their Chembur opponents,showed more purpose in their attacks but missed a few chances to go ahead.
They however had to pay a heavy price for their errant attacks by conceding a goal in the 63rd minute,when RCF right-winger,Sunny Sangar slid one past the goalkeeper Khan following a counter attack. The action will continue in the Nadkarni Cup on Thursday with another clash.
RCF will have to work much harder when they meet this years Durand Cup finalists,Dodsal FC on Sunday.
Result: RCF 2 (Sagar Chile,Sunny Sangar) bt MSP 1 (Azhar Shaikh).