Arya Vidya Mandir win protest and U-14 football final

Arya Vidya Mandir, who came to the venue prepared for a third-place tie, beat Utpal Sanghvi after winning an overage issue over St Joseph's

Arya Vidya Mandir (Bandra) came to Azad Maidan yesterday fully prepared to clinch the third-place match, but left the venue winning the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) boys' U-14 inter-school Div IV football title.

Arya Vidya Mandir (Bandra) celebrate their U-14 Div IV title at Azad Maidan yesterday
Arya Vidya Mandir (Bandra) celebrate their U-14 Div IV title at Azad Maidan yesterday 

In an unexpected turn of events, AVM were awarded a place in the final after they won an overage protest that they had lodged against St Joseph's (Colaba) after their 0-5 semi-final defeat on Wednesday.

The promotion to the final worked as a booster for AVM, who beat Utpal Sanghvi (Juhu) 4-1 via tie-breaker in a thriller.

After both teams were locked 0-0 at the end of regulation time, the result had to be decided via penalty shootout. In the tie-breaker, Rohan Date, Pranay Sidhwa, Shantanu Chopra and Aryan Yadav scored for AVM while only Rounak Sawant was on target for Utpal Sanghvi.

Timely justice
AVM coach Robin Baptista said: "We didn't expect the MSSA to act on the protest so swiftly. We came to the ground thinking that we will play our third-place match. When we were told that we will play the final, the boys got very excited and gave their best to win title. MSSA has given us justice at the right time."

AVM had lodged an overage protest on two St Joseph's players. After receiving the protest, MSSA cross checked their date of birth registered with the school authorities.

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