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MSSA U-16: Skipper Arbaaz Mulla takes Holy Family to victory

Holy Family's (Andheri) skipper Arbaaz Mulla played his role to perfection, scoring a brace in their 2-1 win over Colaba Municipal in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) boys' U-16 Division II inter-school football match at Azad Maidan yesterday.

Holy Family's Arbaaz Mulla shoots during their match against Colaba Municipal School at Azad Maidan yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Holy Family's Arbaaz Mulla shoots during their match against Colaba Municipal School at Azad Maidan yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan  

The Colaba outfit came close to scoring thrice within the first 20 minutes. In the 10th minute, Vishnu Rathod had a clear chance, but missed the bar by a whisker. Later, Colaba's Akshay Sakpal and Aksar Ansari too missed clear opportunities. Both teams were tied 0-0 at half-time.

The Colaba outfit was left ruing those misses, as in the 37th minute, Arbaaz scored off a free kick from 30 yards. Three minutes later, he struck again to give the Andheri school a 2-0 lead. Colaba Municipal's Mukesh Rathod pulled one back by scoring off a header in the 47th minute.

Arbaaz was a part of the team that was relegated to Division II from Division I (Elite Division) last season. This year, he wants to help his school earn promotion to the Elite Division by doing well. In order to do so, the school has appointed two new coaches — Kingsley Rebello and Neil Fernandes.

Playing for promotion
"Last year we played well but it wasn't enough, since we were not consistent. This year's team is a much better side than last year. We lacked co-ordination last season and that's the reason we were relegated. It is a matter of pride to play in Division I. I hope we do well this year and earn promotion to the Elite Division," said 15-year-old Arbaaz.

Meanwhile, Holy Family coach Rebello said that this year they don't have any high expectations from the side. "It's just been a couple of days since we joined the school. The school has always been in Division I and was a name to reckon with some years ago, but it's not the same now.

To help the school get back to its lost pride, Neil and I have taken over as the school's football coaches. We don't expect miracles to happen in the first year. Next season onwards, we hope to get a well-prepared team," said Rebello.

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