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East Bengal Samachar

Top 5 breakout players from IFA Shield 2018

Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar


The tournament saw a string of impressive performances by several youngsters.  

The 122nd IFA Shield was a battle between the best youth teams in the country, with East Bengal reigning supreme and winning their 29th title after being the best team throughout the tournament. Living up to its roots, the IFA Shield had some memorable matches and also gave a stage to relatively unknown talents to impress everyone with their dazzling ability.

Here, we will look at the top five breakout players from the IFA Shield.

5. Israfil Dewar (SAIL Football Academy)

SAIL Football Academy (Burnpur) might have been late entrants into the IFA Shield, but they impressed many with their promising football in the group stages. SAIL ousted both Mohammedan Sporting and ATK to qualify for the semi-finals and had several pacy attackers to help their cause. But, someone who really shone through for them was striker Israfil Dewar, who proved himself to be a clinical player.

Dewar floored Mohammedan Sporting by scoring a brace in the group stage match and was always a threat for SAIL. The young striker proved himself to be a highly impressive player with his goals in the IFA Shield, with both him and SAIL leaving their mark in the tournament.

4. Chetan Hansdah (Tata Football Academy)

Tata Football Academy (TFA) have always held the reputation of producing some of the top footballing talents in India and their impressive showing in the IFA Shield proved that there are more coming through the ranks. One such talent who looks set for big things is attacker Chetan Hansdah, who was probably their brightest player of the tournament. Despite not starting much, Hansdah was electric whenever he played and was difficult to contain for the best of defenses.

Hansdah scored one in TFA's whipping of Churchill Brothers, before going onto score an impressive equaliser in the semi-final match against East Bengal as well. The young striker proved himself to be extremely opportunistic with his goals and his great experience in the IFA Shield should further motivate him to take his game to the next level.

3. Lalcchanhima (East Bengal)

The East Bengal U-19 team seems to be full of explosive talents and one such brilliant talent is Lalcchanhima, who was an absolute nightmare during the IFA Shield. Lalcchahima led the line well for the Red and Gold, with his amazing pace and ball-control making him almost unstoppable. He introduced himself in style in East Bengal's first game, scoring a hat-trick.

Lalcchanhima continued his terrific form in the other group stage matches and ended up as the top scorer of the IFA Shield with six goals. While he failed to score in the final, the forward was a constant threat for East Bengal.


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2. Subha Ghosh (Mohun Bagan)

Subha Ghosh was among Mohun Bagan's dangerous trio which floored many teams in the IFA Shield, but one could argue that he was the absolute best of the lot. Ghosh was amazing going forward for the Mariners and scored four goals in the first match, where Mohun Bagan thumped Churchill Brothers. He would then also score an amazing winner in the semi-final and take the Mariners to the final of the tournament.

Ghosh's impressive movement along with his clinical finishing skills made him an asset for Mohun Bagan in the tournament and proved how they have some very talented strikers coming up from their academy.

1. Jhantu Prasad (East Bengal)

The captain of the winning East Bengal team, Jhantu Prasad led the attack and inspired his team to play attacking football throughout the tournament. Prasad's ability to drift onto the wings or move into central areas was pivotal to him influencing much of East Bengal's attacking tempo. Jhantu scored three goals in the tournament, including one in the semi-final against TFA.

He was also influential in the final, where he took the first penalty in the shootout to get his team off to a good start. Prasad's admirable leadership proves how he might have big things coming his way in the future and could even land up in the senior team soon, if he keeps on performing consistently.

Published: Tue Jul 31, 2018 02:33 PM IST


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