Aryan Sood of Campion School did the star turn as the Cooperage side beat Christ Church (Byculla) 4-0 in the semi-finals of the U-16 Ahmed Sailor knockout tournament at Azad Maidan yesterday.
The goals notwithstanding, Aryan’s performance stood out simply for the fact that he answered his coach’s call to play the game despite battling a bout of viral fever. Aldrich Fernandes scored the other two goals in the comprehensive win.
Without Aryan who was resting at his Cuffe Parade home, Campion were struggling for a better part of the first half. But things changed dramatically when he was brought in to play in the 20th minute, after Alex Wilfred Alva, the coach, asked him if he could make it to the game.
Aldrich opened the scoring in the 46th minute after a tied first half. In the 51st minute, Aryan scored off an Abhishek Agarwal pass. He added to the tally in the 54th minute. Aldrich scored the winner in the 55th minute through a solo effort.
“I was not supposed to play the match today as I had viral fever and cold. I was lying down at home, when Wilfred Sir called me and asked if I could come to watch the match.
When I came, I saw my team was struggling. I didn’t want them to lose and hence requested sir to allow me to play. I am glad I scored in a crucial game,” said the 14-year-old.
Even as Campion celebrated their win, their defender Nikhil Thachil injured his wrist on the left hand during the match. Campion coach Alex Wilfred Alva said that Nikhil’s reports suggest he has a fracture.
"His parents rushed him to the Bombay Hospital and the doctors have taken an X-ray of his wrist. He has a fracture and his hand will be in cast for four weeks,” said Alva.