Rakesh Oram scored the fastest goal of the U-19 I-League to give the AIFF Regional Academy (Navi Mumbai) their second win in as many games against PIFA Colaba FC in the second round of league games at the Fr. Agnel’s Sports Complex, Navi Mumbai.
The winger found the net in as early as the second minute after heading home off a cross by Suman Sarkar from the left flank.
Despite conceding early, the Colaba boys defended valiantly, soaking in wave after wave of attacks with their goalkeeper Pranav Kotra pulling off a string of saves early on to keep the contest alive.
On to the 42nd minute and the visitors conceded for the second time after a wayward clearance in the penalty area was nodded directly into the back of the net by a defender for an unfortunate own goal.
With the opposition working over-time to commit players in defence and making good use of the offside trap, the AIFF youngsters found it difficult to create any clear-cut chances in the final third in spite of enjoying the lion’s share of possession.
AIFF Regional Academy captain Bidyananda Singh had an outstanding game in central midfield and led his team by example.
The high tempo of the game coupled with the punishing heat resulted in several players suffering from cramps in the closing stages of the game. After hitting the goal-frame twice in the second period, the AIFF team made one last effort to grab the elusive third goal but the Colaba defence stood firm.
After two rounds, the AIFF Regional Academy lead the standings in the Maharashtra Qualifying group with six points while PIFA Colaba are yet to register their first points of the competition.
AIFF Regional Academy (Navi Mumbai)
Arshdeep Singh, Gursimrat Singh Gill, Nishu Kumar, Kapil Boro, Amey Ranawade, Bidyananda Singh, Robinson Singh, Moinuddin Khan, Milan Basumatary, Suman Sarkar, Rakesh Oram
PIFA Colaba FC
Pranav Kotra, Piram Master, Chetan Naik, Revi Kumar, Lavesh Patil, Roger Sam, Valentine Pereira, Neel Shah, Ramakant Pawar,Ronith Jain, Robert Elangovan