After facing a 1-2 loss to Bombay Scottish in the semi-finals of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) boys U-16 inter-school football league tournament last month, Don Bosco (Matunga) coach Leslie Machado feared that history might repeat itself in the Ahmed Sailor knockout tournament at Azad Maidan yesterday.
Don Bosco (Matunga) players celebrate their 1-0 victory over St Dominic Savio (Andheri) in the Ahmed Sailor knockout final victory at Azad Maidan yesterday. Pic/Satyajit Desai.
Thankfully, a 5la goal in the dying minutes of the match by Shreyas Sail ensured the Matunga school beat St Dominic Savio (Andheri) to win the knockout title. Don Bosco striker Rahul Swamy missed a host of scoring opportunities even as Dominic Savio goalkeeper Mohammed Murad did well under the bar to keep the Bosco boys at bay. However, two minutes from the end, Murad was caught off guard as 14-year-old Shreyas lobbed the ball into the back of the net from a distance.
Shreyas is glad that the team finally won a title. “We were the defending champions but failed to win the MSSA league title. There was a lot of pressure on us to win this one," he said.
Bosco coach Machado was a relieved man. “We missed at least seven clear chances on goal. I was praying that the match shouldn’t go into the tie-breaker because then it would be anybody's game.”
Despite the loss, Dominic Savio coach Sushant Pawar appreciated the team. “It is unfortunate that we lost. This team won the Division II title and earned a promotion to Division I. Also, they managed to reach the final of the Ahmed Sailor knockout tournament. A title would have been the icing on the cake,” said Pawar.
Meanwhile, in the third place tie, riding on Kevin Shah’s goal St Francis D’Assisi (Borivli) beat St Joseph’s (Wadala) 1-0.