The boys from Kabul, representing Estegal, defeated Air Force Bal Bharti School 8-0 became the first team to book their quarterfinal berth in the 57th Subroto Cup International Football Tournament here today..
In a pool D match played at the NWC grounds this morning, the Afghan boys scored their third straight win while it was a second successive loss for the local outfit. They get a walkover in their last match tomorrow against the Punjab school team which has not reported after having entered the contest. And this allowed the Kabul boys an early celebration, but their job is only half done.
In pool A, another team closed in on their rivals to more or less ensure its last-eight places when Manipur’s Pinjabati High School defeated Lakshadweep’s Government Senior Secondary School struck a dozen goals without a reply. The Manipur boys, too, have a match in hand and a simple draw against Maharashtra’s Cathedral & John Connon School tomorrow would see them through to the quarters.
With a good striking combination in the foursome of Ali, Mustafa, M. Asghar and Ebadullah, the Afghan boys have one of the most potential weapons and today they were joined by Mohammad Haron who too struck a goal in extra time. And they shared the goals with Ali and Ebadullah scoring thrice and twice, respectively. However, these boys would have to be cautious as happiness can change into despair as they will have face stronger opponents in knockout stages.
Of the dozen scored by Pinjabati boys against Lakshadweep school, N. Diben Singh scored five times while Nani Singh and Bishal Singh fired in three times each with striker Fifananda adding to the tally.
In pool C league at Ambedkar Stadium, Utkramit High School, Kolabira (Jharkhand) outsmarted Gorakhpur’s Kendriya Vidyalaya boys with a 4-0 verdict when Ratan Hansda opened their accounts in the 18th minute. They struck once more in the first session when Ishwar Hansda joined the party five minutes later. After change of ends, Chhutur Kisku and Rahul Hembrom hit the target within three minutes of each other for the rout.
In pool B matches, West Bengal’s Ashoke Nagar Boys Secondary School humbled The Air Force School (Subroto Park) 8-1 while Holy Spirit Institute, Margao (Goa) downed Sikkim’s Namchi Sports Hostel 1-0 through Saideep P, leaving the field open for the three teams—West Bengal, Goa and Bangladesh.
For West Bengal, Shubho Pal, J.H. Mondal (2), Mohammad Al-Ameen (2), S.K. Abdul (2) and Sarfaraz Afzal scored while it was V. Kakkar netted the lone goal for TAFS.
Mumbai’s Reliance FYC defeated the Cathedra & John Connon (Maharashra) 4-0, thanks to Thoi Singh’s opening bliz in the 11th and 23rd minutes which Gulab Singh and A. Laskar carried forward to complete the job.