Mumbai Elite Division champions Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) dished out a slick performance scoring twice inside the first half to overcome a spirited Dena Bank 2-0 in an entertaining first round match of the 110th RCF-Nadkarni Cup football tournament, organized by RCF Sports Club under the aegis of MDFA and played at the RCF Colony ground, Chember on Thursday afternoon. Lenstan Aphonso (14th minute) and Kevin Patrick (40th minute) were bang on target to seal ONGC’s entry to the quarter-final and a meeting with Century Rayon.
Earlier in another first round encounter, Century Rayon scored an upset 2-1 win against Union Bank of India. Shopam S. scored the opening goal of the match to put Century in front in the 24th minute. Century held on to the advantage going into the break.
After changing ends, Union Bank managed to draw level with veteran Khalid Siddque find the back of the net in the 62nd minute. But, Century snatched a let winner through Kashung Singh in the 88th minute to advance to the quarter-finals.
The fancied ONGC outfit not playing at full strength played a good tactical game by holding ball possession as their rivals went all out on the attack. After soaking a bit of pressure ONGC against the run of play forged ahead when Aphonso latched on to a long aerial ball and slotted past the goalkeeper Sarfaraz Ansari in the 14th minute.
ONGC doubled the lead when seasoned midfielder and dead-ball specialists Jatin Bisht with a swerving falg-kick found the head of an unmarked Patrick who coolly headed home.
The oilmen relaxed the pace in the second half and did not add to the tally. In fact had the Dena Bank strikers been more alert they could have given ONGC a scare.
In Friday’s matches, PIFA Colaba clashes with HDFC at 1.30 pm and Western Railway meets Kenkre Under-19 at 3.30 pm.
Results (1st round): Century Rayon 2 (Shopam 24th, Kashung 88th) beat Union Bank of India 1 (Khalid Siddique 62nd).
ONGC 2 (Lenstan Aphonso 14th, Kevin Patrick 40th) beat Dena Bank 0.