AVM girls crowned U-14 champions
RSB Arya Vidya Mandir (Juhu) shocked a much-fancied Cathedral and John Connon (Fort) 2-1 to win their maiden Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) girls' U-14 Division I inter-school football title at Azad Maidan on Friday.
It was a repeat of the District Sports Office (DSO) Divisional final that saw the Juhu school beat the Fort outfit by a solitary goal in September.
RSB Arya Vidya Mandir players with their trophy after their final win over Cathedral and John Connon at Azad Maidan yesterday. Pics/Suresh KK
On Friday, Gaurika Shetty gave the Juhu school the lead in the 14th minute with a tap in from close range after skipper Anagha Janakkiraman had laid out a pass for her from the left flank.
In the second session, the Juhu girls doubled their lead through Khushi Khan who finished off a neat cross from Anagha yet again. Cathedral pulled a goal back when Saiya Mehta converted from the penalty spot, following an infringement inside the striking circle.
AVM coach Desmond D'Souza was ecstatic. "Previously, we have finished in third or fourth place and even runner-up once, but this (title) is a first so it’s definitely very special," said D’Souza.
AVM’s goal-scorers Gaurika Shetty (left) and Khushi Khan
Cathedral and John Connon coach Nelson Sebastian felt his opponents went into the final with a psychological edge having beaten his girls earlier and that eventually had a bearing on the outcome. “Since we had lost to them previously, our girls did not approach this final with the right mindset. We were a bit negative in our approach and that cost us the title. We played a lot better during the league stages of the tournament. This was our worst performance.”
Meanwhile, Bombay Scottish (Mahim) thrashed defending champions Mary Immaculate (Borivli) 6-0 to win third place in the same tournament at Azad Maidan yesterday. Aishwarya Ahir scored a hat-trick, while skipper Deniese Pereira scored a brace and Ira Gore added one.