MSSA: Bandra's St Stanislaus bag the U-14 Division I inter school title
Captain Clint scores lone goal from penalty to edge out Campion in hard-fought U-14 Div I final
St Stanislaus (Bandra) lads were not at their best, but they still managed to emerge champions. The Bandra schoolboys had to work extra hard to grind out a 1-0 win against persevering Campion School (Cooperage Road) in the boys' under-14 Division I final of the MSSA inter-schools football tournament at the Neville D'Souza ground, Bandra on Saturday.
St Stanislaus's captain Clint Fernandes scored the lone goal from a penalty in the 40th minute. Referee Umesh Patel pointed to the 'spot' after the ball stuck a Campion defender's hand inside the penalty area. Clint stepped forward and fired to the top left corner, beating goalkeeper Kabir Bhatia hands down.
St Stanislaus having outshone arch-rivals Don Bosco (Matunga) 4-0 in the semi-finals, seemed to have got over-confident and complacent. As a result, they struggled against Campion School, who came well-prepared and stuck to their plan.
They defended brilliantly and did well to mark the key Stanislaus players to blunt their attack.
St Stanislaus's right wing back Reuel Fernandes, who had proved to be a thorn in the side of every opponent's defence and created the chances for his teammates, was rightly marked and not allowed the space to make runs down the flank.
In contrast, Campion also managed to launch a couple of raids on the Stanislaus citadel, but could only manage a couple of shots at the opponents' goal.
St Stanislaus (left) and Campion players vie for the ball in the final
Central defender Clint was also outstanding throughout the tournament. He was solid and steady at the heart of the Stanislaus defence.
The level-headed Clint, with his fine anticipation and excellent reading of the game and with good support from the other defenders, built a solid wall which the opposing strikers found hard to break down.
Just before conceding the penalty, Campion's dead-ball specialist Rayaan Pochkhanavala came close to find the net. But, his well-executed free-kick from the left side of the box, was saved by Stanislaus goalkeeper Sitanshu Shetty, who leapt high to his right to block the ball and collect it to ensure his citadel stayed intact.
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