Wah Tej! Defender saves the day for Hansraj

Aug 02, 2018, 08:35 IST | Sundari Iyer

"This year, our team's defence is weak, so I decided to become a defender but when I started off in the U-12 group, I was a goalkeeper and used to practice saving penalties a lot," said Tej

Wah Tej! Defender saves the day for Hansraj
Hansraj Morarji goalkeeper Tej Vesavkar makes a save during their U-16 Div II playoff tie yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble

Hansraj Morarji's (Andheri) defender-turned-goalkeeper Tej Vesavkar's heroics helped his side enter the boys' U-16 Div II semi-finals after they beat Maneckji Cooper School (Juhu) 3-1 via tie-breaker in the playoffs of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association's (MSSA) inter-school football tournament at Azad Maidan yesterday.

Both teams were goalless at the final whistle. Tej, who doubled up as goalkeeper for the tie-breaker, was on target with his kick too. Apart from him, Mohammed Uzair and Arvind Reddiar scored for Hansraj Morarji. For Maneckji Cooper, only Dhritimaan managed to score. Tej said he was a goalkeeper during his U-12 days and that experience helped him excel under the bar yesterday. "This year, our team's defence is weak, so I decided to become a defender but when I started off in the U-12 group, I was a goalkeeper and used to practice saving penalties a lot," said Tej.

Cooperage unavailable for semis, final
In what will be a major disappointment to players, the semi-finals and final of the MSSA U-16 Div I will not be played at Cooperage. MSSA had earlier announced that the matches would be played under lights at the Cooperage. However, yesterday MSSA's football secretary Sebastian Fernandes told mid-day that the venue is not available during the scheduled dates. On August 7, at Azad Maidan, St Francis D'Assisi (Borivli) will take on Dominic Savio in the first semi-final, while St Mary's SSC (Mazagaon) will face Jamnabai Narsee in the second semi-final, with the final scheduled for August 9. "Cooperage is not available on both dates as they have state selections for U-14 girls and boys," said Fernandes.

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