Karten Pais’ brace helped Mary Immaculate (Borivali) beat Apostolic Carmel (Bandra) 2-0 at Azad Maidan yesterday and reclaim the girls U-14 Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) title they missed out on last year.
The 12-year-old finished with an impressive tally of eight goals in seven matches.
Striker Karen opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a brilliant solo effort. She then came back in the second half to make it 2-0 with a right-footed volley in the 29th minute.
The teenager attributed her success to her victorious outing with the India U-13 side last year in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) girl’s football tournament in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
“Playing with different teams from Asian countries in the AFC tournament has helped me improve my game. I’ve been following the same training regime that we had during the AFC tourney and it has worked wonders for me,” said Karen, who dedicated this win to her school coach Luke Rozario. “Last week Luke sir suffered from a slipped disc, and doctors advised him to take complete rest. However, he made it a point to travel all the way here to guide us in the final. He deserves all credit for this win,” added Karen.
Coach Rozario however wasn’t surprised that Karen had stolen the show once again.
“She’s been consistent throughout the tournament. She’s a shy kid off the field, but once she’s on the ground, she’s a different person. I am not at all surprised that she has won us this match and with it, the tournament,” Rozario said.
Meanwhile, in the third place tie, Dhirubhai Ambani (BKC) beat Bombay Scottish (Mahim) 2-0. Saachi Munot and Ananya Thakur scored a goal each for Dhirubhai.