Defending champions Don Bosco (Matunga) beat St Stanislaus (Bandra) 7-6 via tie-breaker to clinch the boys' U-14 Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) Utpal Sanghvi knockout inter-school football title at Azad Maidan yesterday.
Don Bosco (Matunga) U-14 side pose with the trophy after winning the Utpal Sanghvi knockout inter-school football title at Azad Maidan yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
Last year too, Don Bosco had beaten St Stanislaus in title clash, and only 10 days ago the Matunga school got their better of their Bandra rivals in the boy's U-14 MSSA Division I title battle (Don Bosco won 4-2 via tie-breaker).
The start for the Bnopsco boys this time though was not easy. In the first half, they were down 0-1 (11th minute) following an own-goal that was credited to St Stanislaus' Anish Khaire. The Bosco boys were not behind for too long though. Merely four minutes later, Lance Fernandes equalised for the Matunga side.
The Bosco lads continued to dominate the encounter in the second half but somehow the winning goal eluded them.
In the tie-breaker, Lance stood under the bar for Don Bosco, replacing goalkeeper Priyansh Harjai, while St Stanislaus' Joel Barnes replaced Saurabh Mayekar as 'keeper. For the Matunga school, Nathan Murzello and Joshua D'Souza scored from the first two spot kicks, following which Josiah Noronha of St Stanislaus replaced Joel in goal and effected two crucial saves, off Lance and Aman Manghi, while Aaron Nazareth found the net for Bosco's in the fifth spot kick.
For the Bandra school, Josiah, Keegan Pinto and Joel were on target, with Saurabh Gupta and Keith Joseph failing to score. With the score reading 3-3 after five kicks, the clash went into sudden death, where Mannan Dang, Priyansh and Preet Parmar scored for the Matunga side and only Anish and Joshua D'Souza managed to score for Stanislaus. Bosco's stand-in 'keeper Priyansh denied Brendan Gomendes from the spot to win the title for the Matunga outfit.
Don Bosco coach Naresh Solanki heaved a sigh of relief after the tie-breaker as he felt his boys should have sealed the tie in regulation time itself. "We dominated the game but missed out on a number of scoring opportunities. In the tie-breaker, the plan was clear, just like it was 10 days ago when we won the Div I title via penalties — pick a corner and place it there — and thankfully most of our boys did just that."
Stanislaus coach Jaywant Pathak was a disappointed man. "We gave it our best but failed. We'll come back stronger next season," he promised.
Earlier, in the third place tie, St Lawrence (Borivli) beat Campion Colaba 5-2 via tie-breaker after the score read 1-1 at the end of regulation time. Atif Sarwar of Campion and Raj Ghorpade of St Lawerence scored a goal each in regulation time. In the tie-breaker, Meet Gundesha, Utkarsh Rawat, Saket Bhutra and Nihar Modi scored for St Lawrence while only Atif managed to find the back of the net for Campion.