Even as the Greenwood High School from Nagaland walked through the red carpet to lift the under-14 Boys trophy in the 55th edition of the Subroto Cup International Football Tournament, the boys from Model High School, Chandigarh, applauded their efforts in the final at the Dr Ambedkar Stadium here today.
Nagaland beat Chandigarh 5-4 in sudden death after the first five penalty shots failed to resolve the tie as it was the case during regulation time which ended goalless. The winning team got a pay cheque of Rs. 2.5 lakh and the runners up squad from Chandigarh received 1.25 lakh to make their trip to Delhi worth a while.
For the winners, Kito, Tokavi, Imlong Chaba, Nighatu and Ngangshi Menen coverted while Ghunaka, Mariaiwibo missed. For the runner-up team, Sumit Rathi, K. Amarjeet Singh, Jeakson and Dalbir hit the target while, S. Sanjeev, Karan, and Harsh Bartwan missed.
The irony of the final, however, was that Harsh Bartwan was adjudged the best player of the tournament and he turned out to be the villain in the piece for his team. It was Bartwan’s seventh kick, which he missed, gave the Nagaland school a great chance. And the hero, undoubtedly, was Ngangshi Menen who converted his seventh make sure that they take the Subroto Cup home.
The winning team coach Mughato appreciated his boys after they held their nerves in the crucial penalty shootout moment. “We should have won the match in regulation time. But the moment it went to shootout, I asked my boys to keep their cool and to hit the ball along the ground in order to fox the Chandigarh keeper who was very good in blocking the aerial ball. The strategy worked and after tonight’s rest we will celebrate ,” said Mughato.
The Chandigarh team coach Harjinder was ruing the missed opportunity. “We should have won the match. Even though Nagland had possession for longer period, we created more chances for scoring goals. It became 50-50 once the final went into shootout. I would like to say that it was the best team that won today,” he put it in perspective.
In fact, the evenly contested match never provided any anxious moment for either team with both well organized in defending their citadels strongly. Of course, there were quite a few chances for Chandigarh and once a free-kick from Nagaland’s Imlong hit the bar and bounced back into play in second half of extra time. But the regulation time saw very little forays from either team even as pressed hard to carry the ball into the rival box. Though the teams succeeded in their attempts, they were never constructively converted into goals.
Jesse and Mughato Sumi of Nagaland were rewarded being chosen as the best keeper and coach, respectively, of the tournament. They received Rs. 40,000 each. Nachi Sports Hoetel from Sikkim got the Fairplay award
From the losing side, Harsh Bartwan got the best player’s award and got Rs. 40,000 in cash for his wonderful efforts throughout the tournament. In addition, he also received a HCL laptop. Eugeneson E. Shylla from Meghalaya received the best promising player’s award and won a laptop, too.
Artsmith-Concepts & Visions