Mumbai FC thump Customs 8-3 in MDFA Elite Division Opener

Tuesday, 06 December 2016
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Mumbai FC

Mumbai FC faced Customs in the opening match of their MDFA Elite Division season and were triumphant with a 8-3 crushing win banking on skipper Steven Dias' four goals.

Gaurav Kadam, Mumbai FC Media

Mumbai FC were pitted against Customs in the opener of the MDFA Elite Division played at Cooperage Stadium at Churchgate. Coach Santosh Kashyap fielded a 4-3-3 formation with striker Cletus Paul leading the attack with Steven Dias and Vaibhav Karpe in support.

The game began with Mumbai FC taking control in the first minutes and looking for quick chances. Most of them were on the left flank with winger Vaibhav Karpe making incisive runs behind the Customs defense. The chances almost came to fruition when midfielder Shilton D'Silva hit the pole after a great move was created on the right side by right-back Manuel D'Silva. Defender Clyde also sent over a header from  a free-kick taken by Steven Dias from the left side.

Mumbai FC were playing possessive football and were moving around the ball all over the field with good passing moves. The attacks were being built from the back. Attacker Cletus Paul was booked by the referee when he went in too strong in a tackle on a Customs midfielder. Mumbai were finally rewarded for their persistent attacking when Cletus Paul sent Vaibhav Karpe through who put in a looping cross which was headed in with power by Shilton D'Silva to draw first blood in the tie just minutes before the first half. The first half ended with a 1-0 scoreline with Mumbai FC having a solitary goal advantage.

The second half began and Customs had the first shot which was saved by Mumbai FC keeper Nidhin Lal with ease. Gaffer Santosh Kashyap made the first change of the match by bringing in striker Karan Sawhney in place of Cletus Paul. Former Mumbai FC player John Coutinho,  who plays as left-back for Customs was yellow carded for a rash tackle on Manuel D'Souza. Mumbai FC doubled their advantage when striker Karan Sawhney made immediate impact from the bench by scoring a cross sent in by Vaibhav Karpe who grabbed his second assist of the match.

Coach Santosh Kashyap made another change by putting on Nikhil Kadam to replace Vaibhav Karpe on the left-wing. Skipper Steven Dias was booked for simulation when he went down too easily in the box. Midfielder Shilton D'Silva got a knock and Mumbai FC were down to 10 men for a few minutes as he received treatment on the sidelines. Mumbai kept on pressing for goals and almost scored again when Steven Dias squared in a ball into the box from the right side but it proved too strong for Nikhil Kadam to finish.

Mumbai FC went ahead 3-0 when Hitesh Sharma put Nikhil Kadam through with a great touch and Nikhil crossed it in for Steven Dias to tap in from close range. Mumbai FC had upped the tempo and were ahead again four minutes later when left-back Allan Dias put in a long diagonal ball to Steven Dias who controlled it with an exquisite first touch and scored it past the rushing Customs keeper to make the score 4-0. Customs played with more gusto and pulled one back with a great effort from long range that sailed over the Mumbai keeper to make it 4-1

Mumbai FC were controlling the game and Hitesh Sharma again provided the crucial pass when he sent Steven Dias through behind the Customs defense who crossed it to Karan Sawhney who scored it easily to grab his second goal after coming on as a substitute to make it 5-1 for Mumbai FC.  The game soon turned to end-to-end stuff and both teams were creating chances with ease. Customs scored their second one after a good finish from their attacker from inside the box. The score was 5-2 but it did not stay that way for long as Mumbai FC scored again in the next attack when Nikhil Kadam ran through the left wing and squared in to Steven Dias who scored with precision to grab his hat-trick.

Customs were playing for pride now and pushed on and were rewarded when Mumbai FC keeper  Nidhin Lal fumbled a pass and played it straight to a Customs attacker who scored to make it 6-3. Nikhil Kadam was booked by the ref for dissent. The ninety minutes were up and the ref added four minutes as injury time. Mumbai FC were taking no prisoners and scored again when captain Steven Dias grabbed his fourth of the evening with a sublime finish into the bottom right corner.

The play resumed and just when Customs thought that their ordeal was over, Karan Sawhney earned a penalty after being brought down in the box by a defender. Karan Sawhney himself took the penalty and scored with style to complete his hat-trick with all goals coming in the second half. The referee finally blew the whistle and put Customs out of their misery. The final scoreline was a resounding 8-3 win for Mumbai FC who couldn't have wanted a better opening to their campaign in the MDFA Elite Division.