MSSA U-12 football: Aanya, the saviour
Rustomjee goalie makes three crucial saves in tie-breaker against Christ Church to help the Dahisar outfit enter final
Goalkeeper Aanya Kalianpur put up a gutsy performance and played a significant role in propelling Rustomjee International (Dahisar) into the girls under-12 Division-I final of the MSSA inter-school football tournament.
Bubbling with confidence Aanya stood firm in the Rustomjee goal and came up with three crucial saves in the penalty shootout duel which enabled her team overcome an energetic and aggressive Christ Church (Byculla) 4-2 via the tie-breaker after their semi-final encounter finished in an exciting 1-1 draw at Azad Maidan on Monday.
Christ Church started in rousing fashion and rocked the Rustomjee citadel with a strike in the very fourth minute when striker Safaa Gazi scored from a snap move to give her team the advantage.
However, the Rustomjee girls showed great character and fighting spirit as they restored parity through consistent scorer Harshini Iyer in the 35th minute and the match went into the penalty shootout duel.
In the tense tie-breaker, Rustomjee custodian Aanya was unlucky as Christ Church striker Swara Raikar’s shot from the first try brushed her hands and went in.
But later, Aanya confidently blocked the next attempts from Khadija Sham, Sakina Boxwala and Nazeen Lokhandwala which ensured their victory.
Aanya’s teammates did not let her down as they scored from the first two kicks through Harshini and Nishi Doshi before Renu Shah failed to convert from the third kick. But, Nyesha Mehta made sure to score from the fourth to secure their success and a place to the final.
In the second semi-final, Cathedral & John Connon (Fort) earned a hard-fought 1-0 win against Arya Vidya Mandir (Juhu) to set up a title clash with Rustomjee. Kimaya Apte scored the winner in the 38th minute.
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