Ayush was in fact, playing through pain, having suffered a back injury in the quarter-final against Bhivandi Division. On Thursday though, he showed no signs of any discomfort as he kept throughout the match and thereafter effected two fine saves in the tie-breaker.

Ayush Pereira
KC College ’keeper Ayush Pereira during the U-19 DSO final at Azad Maidan recently. Pic/Atul Kamble

KC’s Ryan Dias scored a long-ranger in the first half before Thakur’s Prince Anandraj made it 1-1. Then, in the tie-breaker, Sanchit Shetty, Shaun Fernandes and Hussein Vahanvaty were on target for KC, while only skipper Nachiket Palav and Patrick Mascarenhas managed to score for Thakur.

Ayush blocked the efforts of Thakur’s Prince and Digvijay Yadav.  “Ayush was THE man for us. He played through injury as there is nobody in the team who can replace him. Hats off to him for playing through the pain,” said KC coach Zhoyeb Shaikh.