Customs, HDFC in semis
Image Source: @desibox/Twitter

Mumbai: Reigning Elite Division champions Mumbai Customs and HDFC Bank, both won their respective quarter-final matches via tense tie-breaker duels to advance to the semi-finals of the MDFA Nadkarni Cup football tournament. Customs showed tremendous resilience as they put up a strong fighting display to overcome Century Rayon 7-5 via the tie-breaker after the scores were tied 3-3 in an exciting first quarter-final at the Cooperage ground on Friday.

Later in the evening, HDFC Bank proved to be better marksmen as they converted from all their attempts from the penalty spot to overcome Karnatak Sporting Association (KSA) 5-4 in the second quarter-final which finished in a goalless stalemate. KSA scored from four of their five tries.

HDFC Bank scored through Aditya Dalvi, Kevin D’Silva, Niyaj Patel, Siddharth Shetty and Pragnesh Solanki, while KSA managed to score through Roger Sam, Allan Dias, Naresh Baji and Sanath Valladares. Century Rayon stunned the Customs citadel when Sahil Mesram hit the target in the 23rd minute to grab the advantage.

But, the determined Customs outfit made a solid fight back and scored two quick goals to take the upper hand. First, the experienced Hekmat Singh scored the equalizer in the 32nd minute and three minutes later Marc D’Souza scored the second to give Customs a 2-1 half-time lead.

Customs once again fell in arrears as Century Rayon struck twice in the final 10 minutes through Vanrcimo Luikham in the 82nd minute and Sagar Bedekar in the 88th minute to take a 3-2 lead. Customs produced a strong late effort and once again drew level with Sajjad Alam finding the net in the third minute of stoppage time and take the match to the penalty shootout duel. In the tie-breaker, Customs successfully converted through Dhawal Waghela, Praneel Mendon, Vishal Nagarkati and Pramod Galane, while Century Rayon could only score two through Sagar Bedekar and Dinesh Singh.

Quarter-finals: Mumbai Customs: 7 (Hekmat Singh, Marc D’Souza, Sajjad Alam, Dhawal Waghela, Praneel Mendon, Vishal Nagarkati, Pramod Galane) bt Century Rayon: 5 (Sahil Meshram, Vanrcimo Luikham, Sagar Bedekar 2, Dinesh Singh) via the tie-breaker:

Full-time: 3-3.

HDFC Bank: 5 (Aditya Dalvi, Kevin D’Silva, Niyaj Patel, Siddharth Shetty, Pragnesh Solanki) bt KSA: 4 (Roger Sam, Allan Dias, Naresh Baji, Sanath Valladares) via the tie-breaker. Full-time: 0-0.

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