MSSA: Pearl Negandhi pushes Immaculate into final

Updated: Jul 26, 2019, 08:23 IST | Akshay Jagtap

Pearl saves two and scores one in thrilling 2-1 shootout win against Bombay Scottish

MSSA: Pearl Negandhi pushes Immaculate into final
Mary Immaculate's goalkeeper Pearl Negandhi is congratulated by her teammate while a Bombay Scottish player (left) is dejected after their U-16 girls' inter-school football semi-final match at the Cooperage yesterday. The Borivli school won 2-1 in the shootout. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Goalkeeper Pearl Negandhi produced an all-round performance to power Mary Immaculate (Borivli) into the final of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA)-organised U-16 girls's Div-I football tournament with a thrilling 2-1 win via tie-breaker against Bombay Scottish (Mahim) at Cooperage yesterday.

After both teams failed to score in the regulation time, the game went into the tie-breaker.

Scottish dominates

Though Bombay Scottish dominated the game with their attacking display, Mary Immaculate displayed terrific resistance.

In the shootout, goalkeeper Pearl pulled off two amazing saves and also scored one in a thrilling finish.

Tracy scores too

Pearl's teammate Tracy Monis scored the other goal in sudden death. For Scottish, Kyra Gore netted the solitary goal.

Pearl said she took the responsibility to guard the goalpost after Tracy got injured. "I wanted to give my best as I knew that if I made a mistake, my team would suffer," she said.

Mary Immaculate coach Anthony Fernandes was impressed with Pearl's confidence. "Pearl showed a lot of courage and insisted to take the responsibility to be in the goalpost. It was her confidence which made me believe in her," said the coach.

Meanwhile, the other semi-final between Apostolic Carmel (Bandra) and Arya Vidya Mandir (Juhu) was postponed to Saturday after the latter turned up late at the venue by half-an-hour for a scheduled 9am start.

Arya Vidya Mandir's coach Desmond D'Souza told mid-day that the delay was due to a tree that fell on the road. "We had to take a longer route. I was constantly in touch with the MSSA officials and also tried to contact Apostolic Carmel coach [Cosmos Vaz] but my calls went unanswered. By the time we reached the ground, our opponents had left," he said. MSSA football secretary Sebastian Fernandes said granting a walkover for a semi-final game was not justified. "We can't give a walkover for such an unavoidable reason. We have decided to reschedule the match for Saturday," he said.

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