Mumbai Strikers make a hat-trick of semifinal appearances in the Independence Cup

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MS finish as semifinalists for the third successive year in the Independence Cup 2019. MS finish as semifinalists for the third successive year in the Independence Cup 2019. Pic Courtesy: You Turf
The Strikers were back in action for the 2019 edition of the Independence Cup held by the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA). They repeated their run of excellence from last year and expected to move further from the Semi-final. However, the jinx was not broken this year as well when they bowed out to eventual winners Union Bank of India by a slender 1-0.

The annual knock-out tournament was held at the St Xavier’s Ground, Parel on the 14th and 15th of August. MS were scheduled to play the first match against Century Rayon. It was an encounter to cherish as both sides attacked equally and none of their defences gave way to concede a goal. The score at regulation time was 0-0 and tournament rules suggest a tie-breaker incase of a draw. MS prevailed in the penalties 3-1 as custodian Abhishek S rose to the occasion with splendid saves. In the Quarter-Final, MS were scheduled to play Millat FC. MS came close to scoring on a few occasions and to their dismay were not able to make it count. Millat FC displayed some versatility in defense and were stubborn enough to keep MS at bay. A similar scoreline at regulation time forced them into a penalty shootout. MS scored all their shots in the tie-breaker while Millat FC fell short of one, thanks to the brilliant reflexes of Abhishek S who once again took MS ahead in the tournament. MS faced Union Bank of India (UBI) in the Semi-Final and it was interesting to see whether MS could break the barriers and move to their first ever Independence Cup Finale. However, UBI thwarted any chances of MS getting into the finals by scoring early in the game and kept MS away from their goal.

MS have now qualified for the Semis three times in a row in this tournament since their debut and become the only private team to qualify two times in a row in the last two editions. Their opponents have been UBI in these two editions. The team is now preparing to participate in the upcoming Elite Division Season. It will be important for MS to start increasing their attacking prowess and get on the scoresheet during the run of play.

Read 195 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 August 2019 18:02

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