The victorious Rustomjee Cambridge (Dahisar) football team with the U-12 Div-III trophy. Pic/Satej Shinde
Kush Modi, 11, played a significant role by scoring the all-important winning goal to help Rustomjee Cambridge International School (Dahisar) emerge champions, defeating St Andrew's High School (Bandra) 1-0 in the boys U-12 Div-III final of the MSSA inter-school football tournament at Azad Maidan
After soaking in plenty of pressure, the Rustomjee Cambridge boys, against the run of play, took the lead midway through the second half when Kush intercepted Megh Rawte's square pass from the right at the top of the box. He controlled the ball before firing a firm right-footer past St Andrew's goalkeeper Jaivik Solanki to trigger a celebration among his teammates.
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St Andrew's dominated the proceedings thereafter too. Diminutive and energetic striker Aryan Sawant worked tirelessly upfront and, along with skipper and attacking midfielder Aryan Bari, initiated many raids at the rival goal. However, the Bandra boys found rival goalkeeper Arjun Vithalani a hard nut to crack and eventually finished second best.
Goalkeeper Arjun, 11, showed a safe pair of hands and some timely saves to frequently deny the St Andrew's attackers. Rustomjee Cambridge could have scored more goals, but Rawte and Hitansh Bagadia failed to convert the chances that came their way.
Earlier, JBCN International School (Borivli) fought back to defeat Sharda Mandir (Grant Road) 3-1 in the third-place encounter. Striker Jaival Mepani scored the first goal of the match in the third minute to put Sharda Mandir in the lead. JBCN International gave a strong reply with Mihaan Gandhi scoring the equaliser in the 10th minute. Later, Mihaan's teammates Tanish Gupta and captain Kauish Patil scored one goal each to secure their win.