Mizoram boys corner glory in Under-17 Subroto Cup
Oct 17: A solitary goal by MS Dawngzela in the second-half lent a hand to NCC (North Eastern Region), Aizawl to lift Subroto Cup and to overcome their opponents Sagarbhanga High School from Durgapur, West Bengal, in an action-packed final of the Subroto Cup (U-17) football tournament at the Ambedkar stadium here on Tuesday.
The first half of the match was full of action but both the teams could not be able to produce any goal. There were flurry of attacks and shots at goal from either side to test the skills of rival custodians under the bar. But both the goalkeepers Mizoram’s V. Lalkhawngaiha and Sudipta Bannerjee of Durgapur were equal to the task.
The teams were locked 0-0 in the half-time after putting all their efforts to gain a lead.
On resumption, Kolkata and Mizoram outfit shifted their gears to offensive style in search of the winning goal. NCC boys were not in their element while the Sagarbhanga boys were charging down with planned attacks.
But the moment of glory for the NCC team came in the 47 th minute of the match, when Sagarbhanga stopper Subhankar Dey messed up the things, with a silly mistake, while trying to clear a low height ball with his head instead of his foot ending up handling the ball just outside the box providing NCC team a free-kick, which cost his team the match and the coveted Subroto Cup trophy.
The free-kick taken by Dawngzela, turned out to be the match winner, brushed past one of the defender in the wall en-route to the net and Durgapur goalkeeper being marooned due to the deflection could all watch the ball going in to the net.
Sagarbhanga School, which comprises most of the players from Mohun Bagan Sail Academy, initiated considerable amount of counter-attack on NCC citadel after conceding the goal. But despite having more possession, the Durgapur boys failed to find the elusive goal.
Sagarbhanga’s Saubhik Chakraborty guided an air ball to get past in to the net in the dying moments of the game but was ruled offside.
NCC team’s coach Lalbulliana was not happy with his team’s performance. “I think we were lucky to win the match,” he said. On the other hand Sagarbhanga’s coach summed up the match by commenting that “We played the game but they scored, as luck is surely riding on their side and we were also little unlucky to find a goal when it mattered the most”.
Luiz Greco, the Mohun Bagan SAIL’s academy Technical Director, who had come specially for the final, was disappointed by the performance of his wards.
Talking to NewstrackIndia Greco said, “I am quite surprised that the players exhibited Indian style of football and I have been training them Brazilian style of soccer for the last three months
“We did not play our normal game. Instead of playing ground passes we were playing aerial balls and NCC deep defenders easily cleared it,” said Greco.
"This is not the way we play in Brazil," said Greco, who joined the academy three months back”.
Chief Guest Air Chief Marshal FH Major presented the prizes to the winners and the losing finalist. The winning team went with a purse of Rs. One lakh while the runners-up team received Rs 50,000.
Lalhlimpuia of NCC (NER), who is tournament’s top scorer with 19 goals, was adjudged the best player of the tournament while Ram Malik of the Durgapur school was named the most promising footballer. Rosary Higher Secondary School, Goa, won the Fair Play Trophy.
The organising committee also felicitated four eminent ex-services football players Subir Sarkar, Ranjit Thapa, Peter Thangaraj and Sqn Ldr SS Hakim (Retd) for their lifetime achievements in the field of soccer.
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