Mumbai: St. Joseph's Secondary (Malad), which has been the most consistent team in the tournament, proved themselves yet again as they clinched a 2-1 victory over a strong
St. Paul's High School (Dadar) in a nail-biting finale of the Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) Boys Under-16 Div-II Inter-School Football Tournament played at Neville D'souza Football Turf, Bandra here on Wednesday.
St. Joseph's started the game slow and tried to build momentum, while St. Paul's started attacking from the very first minute. Both teams made futile attempts at scoring in the first 10 minutes.
Om Arane, who has been a top performer for St Joseph's, contributed to his team yet again when he converted a freekick into a direct goal from 30 yards in the 12th minute to provide an all-important 1-0 lead to his team in this high-pressure final.
St. Paul's held their nerves and tried every possible strategy to level the scores, they finally found some success when leading goal scorer of the tournament Atharva Rewale struck a goal off a freekick from almost halfway down the pitch in the 25th minute of the game to level the scores at the end of the first half.
In the second half, St. Paul's boys were in total control and were dictating the proceedings. A counterattack by St. Joseph's in the 34th minute put St Paul's under pressure.
Finally, Yash Sanke's ambitious attempt brought him success when St. Paul's goalkeeper Yash Rathod misjudged the ball and came ahead leaving his goalpost and ball flew above him into the back of the net.
After securing a 2-1 lead, St. Joseph's defenders and midfielders did the rest of the work and did not allow St. Paul's to score any goal. Tapish Gawde of St. Paul's and Aaron Sheety of St. Joseph's were awarded a red card for violent conduct.
"Both teams played well in the first half and scored 1 goal each on free kicks. In the second half, we played well with an all-out attacking strategy but our goalkeeper misjudged (Yash Rathod) a shot and it cost us the title" said Melcolm Blekely, head coach of St. Paul's High School (Dadar.)