The Matunga School was chosen to host the semi-finals and final of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge in the last minute as MSSA were unable to provide their ground at Azad Maidan for the closing stages of the U-15 tournament. And yesterday, riding on home advantage, the Bosco boys cruised to a 3-0 win over St Lawrence (Kandivli) in the first semi-final.
Riding on striker Marc D’Souza’s brace and a third goal from Pierre Noronha, the Matunga side entered their third consecutive final in as many years, and are confident of winning it.
“We are lucky to play on our home ground. There are more advantages of playing here — we get to prove our worth in front of our teachers, principal and parents. It’s good that even the final will be played here. I am confident we will win the title tomorrow,” said 13-year-old Marc.
Bosco coach Leslie Machado however admitted that Azad Maidan would have been the ideal place to hold these matches. “We are comfortable playing at Azad Maidan as the boys get a bigger ground. But yes, we did enjoy home advantage today. It’s difficult for a visiting team to suddenly adjust to a smaller field,” said Machado.
Meanwhile, in the second semi-final, Lilavatibai Podar’s (Santacruz) striker Sanath Valladares scored to give his team a 1-0 win over ANZA (Byculla).