Midfielder turns 'keeper in shoot-out to effect two crucial saves as defending champs beat Bombay Scottish 4-3 to enter U-14 semi-finals
Riding on midfielder-turned-goalkeeper Hansel Lobo's heroics under the bar defending champions St Francis D'Assisi (Borivli) beat Bombay Scottish (Mahim) 4-3 via tie-breaker to book a semi-final spot in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) boys' U-14 Div I inter-school football tournament at Azad Maidan yesterday.
After the match ended 0-0 at the end of regulation time, in the subsequent the tie-breaker, Hansel replaced regular custodian Yash Parab under the bar and effected two crucial saves. He first denied Scottish's Rishab Joshi in the third spot-kick.
Then, while Scottish were leading 3-2, he pulled off another crucial save — off Shaunit Doijode — following which D'Assisi's Sagar Naskar found the back of the net to take the shootout into sudden death. Here, Durwin Menezes was on target for the Borivli school, while Siddharth Manchandani failed to score for Bombay Scottish.
St Francis D'Assisi High School players celebrate their win against Bombay Scottish at Azad Maidan yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
Midhvan Kyal, Ayaan Desai and Pranay Choudhary scored for Scottish, while Larren Fernandes and Vishal Konnamparambil were the other two scorers from the spot for D'Assisi. D'Assisi coach Agnelo Picardo said Hansel's goalkeeping assignment for the shootout was pre-planned.
"He (Hansel) has always stood as the goalkeeper for us whenever the match has gone into the tie-breaker. He is confident under the bar and has never let me down," said Picardo. "I have been advised by our coach to keep my eye on the ball and not on the foot of the player. I did just that and it worked," said Hansel.