Azfar is St Andrew's star
Riding on Azfar Noorani's brace, St Andrew's High School (Bandra) drew with St Anthony's High School (Vakola) 2-2 to qualify for the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) Boy's U-16 Division II playoffs at Azad Maidan on Saturday.
St Andrew's Azfar Noorani (right) during the U-16 football match against St Anthony's High School at Azad Maidan on Saturday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
It was a crucial league match for the Bandra team as a win or a draw was needed to make it to the playoffs, which they managed. Of the four matches, the Bandra outfit won two, lost one and drew one with seven points.
Azfar opened the scoring for St Andrew's in the 11th minute through a solo effort. But the Bandra team's happiness was short-lived as the Vakola outfit's Istehkam Shaikh equalised three minutes later.
At half-time, both teams were tied at 1-1. In the second half, Andrews striker Azfar came back to make it 2-1 in his school's favour off a tap in the 46th minute. But the very next minute, St Anthony's skipper Jonathan Pinto negated the lead via Vejay Laxman's assist.
St Andrew's coach Eudes Kinny was disappointed. "Our boys couldn't hold on to the lead. We were on six points before the match while St Anthony's had three points.
"A win for Anthony's would mean that the decision as to who would qualify would be decided on goal difference," said Kinny.
Meanwhile, Azfar who scored a brace for Andrew's hopes to see his team combine well in the coming matches. "We missed chances and lacked co-ordination.
"It was Anthony's that played well and we were lucky to play out a draw. In the playoffs, we would get better oppositions. We cannot afford to take our matches so lightly," said the Class IX student.
At Azad Maidan:
B-16-II: St Xavier's (Bhandup) 5 (Adriel Fernandes,Chetan Komwar, Mehesh Ellana, Gaurang Chavhan, Shan D'souza) bt Activity High School (Peddar Road) 0; St Joseph (Wadala) 3 (Bishnu Bohra, Kavan Napanda, Tez Bohra) bt Utpal Sanghvi School (Juhu) 0.
At St Xavier's Ground, Parel:
B-16-II: St Xavier's (Borivali) 5 (Alex Dias 3,Wendell Rodrigues, Darshan Baria) bt St Theresa (Bandra) 1 (Baven Parmar); Swami Vivekanand (Kandivli) 4 (Yashraj Waghela 2, Nandish Doshi, Manan Sanghvi) bt St Anne's (Malad) 0; St Dominic Savio (Andheri) 1 (Dmello Maynard) bt The Cathedral & John Connon (Fort) 0.