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Kamran Ansari stars as Antonio D'Souza clinch Div III title

Antonio D'Souza HS (Byculla) striker Kamran Ansari's heroics helped the Byculla school clinch the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) boys' U-16 Division III title beating Cambridge School (Kandivli) 3-0 via tie-breaker at the Cooperage yesterday.

Antonio D'Souza school players celebrate after clinching the U-16 Division III title at Cooperage yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Antonio D'Souza school players celebrate after clinching the U-16 Division III title at Cooperage yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble 

After both teams were tied 0-0 at the end of regulation time, ANZA's Kamran replaced goalkeeper Viraj Kamble under the bar in the tie-breaker.

Shoot-out heroics
In the shoot-out, Kamran denied the efforts of Cambridge's Deavy Songara and Siddant Gawad while Kushal Agarwal missed the target. Meanwhile, Kamran, Dayyan Ansari and Umair Ansari made no mistake in their spot-kicks to give the Byculla outfit victory.

Kamran emerged as the tournament's highest scorer, having netted 23 goals in seven matches. "Last year, we couldn't earn a promotion since we were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

As I am in Class X, I was desperate to win the title this time. I couldn't score during regulation time but I'm glad I could help out as goalkeeper in the tie-breaker," said 15-year-old Kamran.

The Byculla school's coach Sajid Sabir said he was sure Kamran would do well as goalkeeper in the tie-breaker. "I was confident that Kamran would not let me and his team down. That's why I asked him to be 'keeper for the shootout," said Sajid.

Meanwhile, Cambridge School coach Shamshi Raza said that a tie-breaker was anybody's game. "We stuck to our plan to mark Kamran throughout the match and it worked. Unfortunately, our boys succumbed to pressure in the tie-breaker," he said.

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