Ansari helps St Ignatius clinch MSSA U-14 title

St Ignatius' stand-in goalkeeper Arfat Ansari saves two crucial goals in a tie-breaker against St Blaise (Andheri) to help lift the MSSA U-14 Div IV title

St Ignatius (Jacob Circle) striker-turned-goalkeeper Arfat Ansari helped his team lift the U-14 Div IV title after they thrashed St Blaise (Andheri) 4-1 via tie-breaker in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association's (MSSA) inter-school football tournament held at Azad Maidan yesterday.

Following Orders: St Ignaius' Arfat Ansari saves a goal during
the MSSA U-14 Div IV match against St Blaise (Andheri) at Azad
Maidan yesterday. Pic/Bipin Kokate

The result had to be decided via tie-breaker after both teams were 0-0 at the final whistle. But since Ignatius's regular goalkeeper Rizwan Shaikh wasn't too confident of his job,  coach Sajid Sabir Ansari had to ask Arfat to step up.

Ankit Kanojia, Arfat Ansari, Salik Ansari, Uzair Ansari were on target for Ignatius in the tie-breaker, while only Clinton Cornelius could find the back of the net for St Blaise. The adage 'No pain, no gain'  proved right for Arfat. This was the first time ever that Arfat was under the bar.

In the tie-breaker when he dived in to save St Blaise's first attempt by Clinton, he failed due to a pull in his stomach. But he had to forget the pain and save the day for his school. Arfat is still recovering from the muscle pull that he picked up during the tie-breaker and was unable to move much. But the hug and appreciation from his principal Molly Francis surely made him forget the pain.

"I was able to do a good job under the bar because of the confidence my coach had in me. And when my principal hugged and told me that I was the hero, I couldn't stop myself and tears welled up," Arfat told MiD DAY. This is the best gift that they could give me. I am really proud and overjoyed," said St Ignatius principal Molly Francis.

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