MSSA: Striker Sai Sankhe simply superb

Mumbai: Goal-scorer is the other name of Sai Sankhe. The X standard student of the Arya Vidya Mandir (AVM), scored three-in-a-row as her school is just one step closer from being champions of the MSSA under-16 inter-school girls football.

At the Cooperage ground, here on Tuesday, when the skies opened, giving some relief for the budding footballers, Sai, as she is better addressed on the field, hit the target thrice, twice in the first session and one in the latter as they got the better of Dhirubhai Ambani School 3-0 to find themselves in the semifinals of the championship.

"She has been one of our outstanding players, and of course she does get all the support from her teammates, as she finds the back of the net," said her coach Desmond D'Souza while talking about Sai.

AVM must have thanked their stars, as Sai, one of the probables of the FIFA under-17 Indian squad was to attend a camp from July 20, but luckily the camp was postponed and Sai continued her role for her team as the main striker.

"Yes, it was a blessing in disguise as her camp was postponed and she was available for this MSSA tournament," added D'Souza, who has seen this girl play the game when she was just nine-year-old.

The players had hardly settled but Sai was on her job and found the net in the third minute of the game, and went on to add another in the 20th minute as her team had a cushion of 2-0 at the change of ends.

The nippy and dashing forward Sai got into the act as the game resumed after the break and completed her hat trick and the three-goal margin for her team as they marched into the semifinal.

It was a day of mixed fortune for Arya Vidya Mandir as their Bandra team, went down to Bombay Scottish, Mahim 1-3 in their bid to make it to the last four.

Harshali Mandeokar provided Bombay Scottish with the perfect start scoring a goal in the third minute of the match. After the initial setback VCW Arya Vidya Mandir managed to pull things back for a while but the relentless Bombay Scottish girls kept digging the way back in and finally found success when Pranita Nimkar made it 2-1 in the 15th minute and Ananya Biswas rounded up the tally in the last minute of the game.

Results (girls U-16 Div I QFs): MIG School, Borivali: 3 (A Angeline, M Tracy, N Pearl) bt Cathedral and John Cannon, Fort: 2 (T Laud, A Pupala) via tie-breaker Full Time 0-0; Bombay Scottish School, Mahim: 3 (H Mandaokar, P Nimkar, Ananya Biswas) bt VCW Arya Vidya Mandir, Bandra: 1 (R Pai); Arya Vidya Mandir: Juhu 3 (S Sankhe 3) bt Dhirubhai Ambani, BKC 0; Apostolic Carmel, Bandra: 1 ( R D'souza) bt BA Petil, Bandra: 0

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