Playing with plenty of determination and solid fighting spirit Udaya Sports Club recovered from a first-half 0-1 deficit and went on to scrape past Jaihind Sports Club by a close 2-1 margin in the final of the Karnatak Sporting Association (KSA)-organised 14th Adv. AR Kudrolli Memorial knockout football tournament played at the KSA ground, Cross Maidan.
In a tense and evenly contested encounter, Jaihind got off to a rousing start and wrested the ascendancy by grabbing an early lead through the efforts of Shrinath Rathod in the fifth minute. They managed to hang onto the lead and went into the break with a slender advantage.
Udaya SC 2 (Siddu Pawar, Ashirwad Hegde) beat Jaihind SC 1 (Shrinath Rathod)
On resumption, Udaya returned with renewed vigour and started to launch a series of attacks on the rival goal. Midway through the second session, the Jaihind defence wilted under constant pressure and Udaya’s prolific goal-scorer Siddu Pawar found the target to help his team restore parity.
Having drawn level, Udaya maintained the attacking momentum and were rewarded with the second goal scored by their dependable defender Ashirwad Hegde late in the game and to seal their win to emerge champion.
The champions Udaya SC were presented with the handsome winners’ trophy and a cash award of Rs 30,000 while Jaihind received the runners-up trophy and a cash prize of Rs 25,000.
There was more joy for Udaya as they won three of the four individual awards. Rohit Rathod was named the Best goalkeeper, while Ritesh Poojary and Siddu Pawar were declared as the Best midfielder and forward respectively. Mukesh Rathod of Jaihind SC won the Best defender award.
Best goalkeeper: Rohit Rathod (Udaya SC); Best defender: Mukesh Rathod (Jaihind SC); Best midfielder: Ritesh Poojary (Udaya SC); Best forward: Siddu Pawar (Udaya SC)