The team aiming for the unprecedented feat was Don Bosco, Matunga, a band of swashbuckling pirates turned gladiators. Their audacious fighting style and camaraderie had won the hearts of the crowd in the previous years, and this year was no different, as they clinched the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) under-16 football title for the third consecutive year.
With each member possessing a unique skill set, they were determined to solidify their legacy as the greatest champions the arena had ever seen, edging out the spirited display of St. Stanislaus High School,Bandra by a solitary goal in the final played at the Cooperage ground, here on Sunday.
It was a fine display of agility by custodian Jordan Kamble of the Bandra boys. He stood between the stubborn Matunga strikers and the goal, he averted all the positive attempts by Don Bosco. And he failed from the dreaded spot which ultimately turned out to be the match-winner for Don Bosco.
The second-half comeback
After a first half stalemate, Stanislaus' defender Sahil S brought down Bosco forward Yohaan Panjuani in the striking zone and referee Anas Ansari had no hesitation in pointing to the spot kick, which Aayush Kharat made sure beating Jordan under the bar for the first time.
The battle was fierce and evenly matched, in the first half, but in the later session, Stanislaus lost track. “Yes, we failed to deliver in the second half and I am sure we did not give out 100%,” said the player Simon Cardoz.
Yohaan Panjuani was threatening the Stanislaus defence with his good dribbling skills and speed and beat the defence time and again, but he could not beat custodian Jordan who was a hard nut to crack.
“Yes, he played exceptionally well, but for him the scoreboard would have been a tennis score, said their coach Roy.
The champion side Don Bosco conquered the arena for the third year in succession and lived on, reminding all that with unwavering determination and unity, even the greatest challenges could be overcome, said of of the player Simon Cardoz.