Riding on goalkeeper Sonu Gupta's heroics, ST Francis D'Assisi (Borivli) defended the Mumbai Schools Sports Association's (MSSA) U-16 Ahmed Sailor Cup title at Azad Maidan on Saturday.

St Francis D'Assisi players celebrate after beating Don Bosco in
the MSSA U-16 Ahmed Sailor final at Azad Maidan on Saturday.
PIC/Atul Kamble

Sonu, a fruit vendor's son,   made four saves in the penalty shoot-out to help his team win 4-3 in sudden death, after the score read 0-0 at the final whistle. In the shoot-out Bosco midfielder Floyd Pereira replaced Mahir Singh in goal but could not keep out efforts from  D'Assisi's Bhushan Kanekar, Ryan D'Souza, Clive Patel and Bobby Ninan.

Janam Mehta, Floyd Pereira and Vikrant B were on target for Bosco, who looked poised for victory leading 3-2 in the  tie-breaker before Merick Fernandes and Milando Naicker failed to score sending the game into sudden death with the teams tied at 3-3.

Bosco's Quentin Britto and skipper Ayush Shetty missed their chances too. Bobby Ninnan made no mistake from the spot handing D'Assisi, who had beaten St Mary's SSC (Mazagaon) in last year's final, their second title in two years.  

Sonu won the best goalkeeper of the tournament, player of the tournament and most valuable player -- a special award of R10,000 from chief guest Marden Fernandes. Meanwhile, St Stanislaus (Bandra) beat Maneckji Cooper 2-0 in the third place play-off.