Sukhai to battle Sunny Days for title

Tejpal Kadayat gave PIFA the lead in the eighth minute as he turned in a pinpoint cross from Gulsher Ansari.

Written by Express News Service | Pune | Published: December 5, 2013 3:51 am

Sukhai FC scraped past PIFA,winning the penalty shootout,in the first semi-final of the second and third division tier of the Guru Teg Bahadur football tournament being played at the Range Hills ground in Khadki.

Tejpal Kadayat gave PIFA the lead in the eighth minute as he turned in a pinpoint cross from Gulsher Ansari. The goal was followed by a period of concentrated pressure from Sukhai as they probed their way into the PIFA half. The Sukhai attackers peppered the PIFA goal with efforts but it was not until the 30th minute that their efforts bore fruit. A flowing attack from the wings,orchestrated by Ashish Pande,culminated in Ganesh Kale finishing off the move as he tapped the ball into the PIFA net to draw his side level.

After that,however,both sides were unable to string any attack of note in either half as both defences put on resolute performances. After normal time ended with both sides locked at 1-1,a penalty shootout was employed to ensure a winner. Jaiprakash Janardan,Neil Sanghavi,Sachin Pardeshi and Amit Gaikwad converted their spot-kicks while Akshay Yadav and Pradeep Lokhande were the only two successful penalty takers for PIFA. Ranjeet Joshi and Yogesh Pillai missed their respective efforts thereby handing Sukhai FC a spot in the finals.

In the second semi-final,Sunny Days posted a 2-0 victory over Blue Stag thanks to goals from Nanu Sen and Nilesh Ram. The first half was a largely uneventful affair with both teams restricting themselves to their own halves,tentatively building up moves but with both sets of strikers looking rather off-colour. Sunny Days seemed to have come out all guns blazing in the second half as barely five minutes after the restart,Sen put his foot through the ball from the edge of the Blue Stag FC box after being set up by Sunil Pawar. The second goal arrived five minutes later with Nilesh Ram burying a penalty.

In the senior super division,Bishops FC beat Range Hills Young Boys FC 1-0 and booked a spot in the quarterfinal thanks a 21st minute goal from Steven Zuzart. In the other match played in the super division,BEG won a close-fought match against Deccan Rover FC,with another penalty shootout deciding the outcome of the match.

Nimie Singh had given BEG the lead in the 45th minute before Siddhesh Kesarkar equalised for Deccan Rovers,scoring in the fourth minute of injury time. In the penalty shootout,all five of BEG’s penalty takers converted while Shreekant Molangiri’s miss sent Deccan Rovers out of the competition.

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