In the given circumstances, one did not expect much from the Byculla boys. But they did put up a brave fight before eventually going down 0-1. Saboo Siddik dominated proceedings in the first half but failed to score and paid for their missed opportunities after the break when Kris Parekh scored for JJ Academy.
Quite understandably, Siddik skipper Rahil Ansari blamed fatigue for the team’s loss. “Playing without substitutes is always a problem, as there is no one to replace you in a crisis. Many players were tired after the first half but I asked them to somehow play on. We could’ve done better if we had at least one substitute,” he said.
Coach Ashfaque Ansari blamed parents for not supporting the school’s sports system. “The school gives us a lot of support, but parents don’t allow children to participate in tournaments, as they are more worried about studies.
The kids here are talented but opt out of sports due to family pressure,” said Ansari, who defended his absence saying that he had informed his players of his inability to make it for this match due to personal reasons.
Earlier this season, the school withdrew from the MSSA Division IV league, as parents refused to let Class X students participate in the tournament. In fact, the school is forced to field the same under-14 boys team for under-16 tournaments too.