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Don Bosco clinch U-12 MSSA Div I football title

Don Bosco striker Mannan Dang’s ninth goal of the tournament handed his side a 3-1 win in the U-12 Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) Div I football final.

Don Bosco team
The jubilant Don Bosco team after winning the U-12 MSSA football title at Azad Maidan. Pic/Suresh KK

The Matunga outfit particularly relished yesterday’s win over St Mary’s ICSE (Mazagaon) as the Mazagaon outfit had beaten them in the semi-final of the inter-school football tournament last year.

After a goalless first half at Azad Maidan yesterday, defender Punav Jaiswal opened the scoring in the 23rd minute for the Matunga outfit with a long-range shot that St Mary’s goalkeeper Daniel George could not hold on to.

In the 25th minute, Dang added to the Bosco tally via a brilliant solo effort before St Mary’s Aayush Murdeshwar reduced the deficit two minutes later. However, Don Bosco weren’t done yet, and moments later, Aaron Nazareth scored to take the tie out of the reach of St Mary’s.

“We are really happy that we defeated St Mary’s convincingly today. Last year, we lost to them in the semi-final. This tournament has been my personal best as I scored in each match,” said 11-year-old Mannan.

The Chembur-lad said that he joined Don Bosco as he wanted to play football like his cousin Rickin Dang, who was a state-level player.

“Since I was a kid, I have seen Rickin play football and was fascinated with the sport. That’s when I told my parents that I want to join the same school as my cousin brother,” said the Class VI student.

Meanwhile, in the third-place match, St Stanislaus (Bandra) defeated Bombay Scottish (Mahim) 1-0.

Water woes at Azad Maidan
Even as the on-field activities went on smoothly during the MSSA inter-school football tournament yesterday, parents of the participating school were unhappy with the organisers for not providing drinking water to the kids and ensuring hygienic washroom facilities.

“There was no drinking water in the taps before the final. Also, there was no water in the washrooms and it was so dirty and unhygienic outside. I don’t know why the organisers cannot provide such basic things to these young players,” said a St Stanislaus player’s parent.

Another parent, on condition on anonymity, said, “It is better if we don’t talk about the hygiene at the ground. Today there was waterlogging outside the washroom, but the MSSA officials were least bothered.”

When contacted, MSSA general secretary Sebastian Fernandes said, “Yes, there is a water logging problem near the gents toilet as the gutter was chocked.

We need to get it cleaned. We are unable to provide drinking water to the kids as there is some issue between us and the BMC. We have written a letter to them and I hope it gets sorted out soon.” 

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