Champs Air India soars past Navy into final

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Mumbai : Defending champions Air India dished out a perfect team effort and comfortably soared to a comfortable 3-0 win against strong challengers Indian Navy in a semi-final match of the 111th RCF-Nadkarni Cup knockout football tournament, organized by RCF Sports Club under the aegis of MDFA, and played at the RCF Colony ground on Wednesday.

The Air India outfit displayed better understanding and worked well as a unit as they put together some neat passing moves to trouble the Navy defence and put them under a lot of pressure.

Striker Pratik Koli and left winger Rinaldo Fernandes played stellar roles with the former scoring a brace of goals while the latter provided two assists which ensured the win.

Koli hit the target in the 16th minute to give Air India the lead and three minutes later, Advait Shinde worked his way inside the rival box before slotting home from the close the second goal.

Air India increased their lead when Koli fired home the third goal just before half-time.

Navy trailing 0-3 made efforts to try and find the net but they failed to break through the rival defence and get on the scoreboard and made their exit.

In the second semi-final, Union Bank will clash with Mumbai Strikers on Thursday, at 3.30 pm.

Results (semi-finals): Air India 3 (Pratik Koli 16th, 45th, Advait Shinde 19th) beat Indian Navy 0.

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