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Football: Rizvi College romp to victory on 'dream ground'

Goals from Sagar Bedekar, Raunak Killinger and Siddharth Nayak helped Rizvi College edge out Pillai College 3-2 in a closely-fought final of the Mumbai University inter-collegiate football tournament held at the University Pavilion recently. Abhishek Ambekar and Rahul Bheke reduced the deficit for Pillai College after Rizvi had taken a two-goal lead in the first ten minutes.

Action from Mumbai University's inter-college football final between Rizvi College and Pillai College at the University Pavilion
Action from Mumbai University's inter-college football final between Rizvi College and Pillai College at the University Pavilion 

Rizvi skipper Sandeep Upadhyay revealed that his team was at a disadvantage going into the final, but was proud nevertheless of their achievement. "Pillai had an advantage over us as they had played both their league as well as quarter-final matches at the University Pavilion, while we played our matches at Goregaon's Anna Bhau Sathe ground, which was a world apart from this ground.

"The University Pavilion at Marine Lines is like a dream ground," Upadhyay said. It may be recalled that on mid-day (edition dated Sept 30) had highlighted the poor conditions at some of the venues of this tournament, among which was the Anna Bhau Sathe. A day after the story, the organisers shifted the matches to the University Pavilion.

The victorious Rizvi College team pose with the trophy
The victorious Rizvi College team pose with the trophy  

Rizvi coach Zakir Hussain also admitted that playing at the University Pavilion was a totally different experience from that at the Goregaon venue. "The (Goregaon) ground was small, but we did not complain, as it was the same for everyone. But as the pitch size was smaller, weaker teams played more defensively and denied us the space to create play. So, when we came to the University Pavilion, I was confident that we would emerge victorious."

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