St Blaise (Andheri) striker Ali Gheewala played through pain to help his team beat St John the Evangelist (Marol) 2-1 in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school U-14 Div IV match at Azad Maidan yesterday.
Game on: St John's Arnold Rodrigues (left) and St Blaise's Anuj
Chavan vie for the ball (inset) Ali Gheewala. PIC/SURESH KK
Ali's brace decided the game in favour of St Blaise after St John took the lead through a goal from Anthony Jeeson in the first half. Ali fell on the ball and injured his left hand, soon after equalising for St Blaise. But the 13-year-old displayed great spirit and decided to carry on playing with the injury.
"I was suffering through pain and it was unbearable but I didn't want to go off the field. My hand is a bit swollen now. I hope it's not something serious," said Ali. Ali's bravado was awarded fittingly in the end, as he scored the winning goal in the final minute. "I'm happy to score the winning goal.
This win will motivate me and our school to do much better in the upcoming matches," said the Class VIII student. St Blaise assistant coach Hedrick Rodrigues was all praise for Ali. "I have been coaching him (Ali) for the last six years. I was a bit worried after the injury and asked him if he wanted to be substituted, but he wanted to play on. So I applied some ice on his hand and let him play," said Rodrigues.
Gokuldham High School (Goregoan) 4 bt Gopal Sharma (Powai) 0; St Peter's (Mazgaon) 4 bt Sundatta High School (Grant Road) 2; St Ignatius (Jacob Circle) 1 bt AVM (Bandra) 0