ST Joseph’s High School (Colaba) played a 1-1 draw against Greenlawns School (Worli) in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) boys’ U-16 Division IV inter-school football match at Azad Maidan on Friday.
It was a commendable effort from the Colaba outfit considering the team has an average age of 13 to 14 years compared to other schools whose players are 14 to 15 years old.
Greenlawns High School’s (Worli) Ashwin Bhatia (right) gets past Vinayak Singh of St Joseph’s (Colaba) during their MSSA U-16 Div-IV football match at Azad Maidan yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Coach Nagesh Swamy later informed that this team had to be made from scratch as MSSA had banned the team last year for fielding two over-age players. Then coach Saif Shaiklh was banned too and the school was fined. It is learnt that some of the parents of the school were reluctant to let their children be part of the football team this time given last year’s embarrassment.
“The draw is a good result as most of our players are quite young and not physically as strong as their opponents. Despite that, we played quite well and could have won,” said Swamy. Greenlawns went into the lead in the 10th minute through Ashwin Bhatia, who tapped in a corner by Dhruv Jain. Moments later Vivek Balughar restored parity for St Joseph’s with a fine solo effort.
Striker Ashwin praised the opposition too. “It was a tough game. Our opponents looked small, but they were skillful and did not let us score in the second half,” he said.
U-16 Div-IV: St Theresa (Girgaon) 2 (Shubam Dhamal 2) beat Prime Academy (Andheri) 0, Bombay Cambridge ‘A’ (Andheri) 2 (Abhishek Murali 2) beat AKIM Ali Mitha Urdu HS 1 (Ashfaque Hussain), Jamnabai Narsee ‘B’ 1 (Vishwa Chabra) drew with Holy Name (Colaba) 1 (Brendon Pillay)