Bangladesh Krida Siksha Protisthan defeated Government Model School from Chandigarh 4-2, via penalty shootout, to lift the 57th Subroto Cup International Football Tournament trophy at the Dr. Ambedkar Stadium here today…
With the regulation time ending goalless, 15 minutes of extra time was given to the teams to break the deadlock. But both squads were determined to take the issue to shootout, leaving it entirely on the goalkeepers to decide. Bangla goalkeeper Saiful Islam proved a worthy hero today evening.
For the Dhaka squad, Tuhid-ul Islam, Mohammad Habibur Rahman, Alman Rahman and Abdul Kader converted while Usaf Ali Jibon missed the target. And for the Chandigarh outfit, Balraj and Pawan were the only two scorers while three of their teammates—Karan Singh and Taison—missed the target, letting a big celebration in the Bangla camp even as Delhi Dynamos head coach Gianluca Zambrotta, along with a battery of officials, applauded the efforts of the two teams.
In the under-14 final played here in front of a sizeable crowd, the boys from Dhaka proved a notch above the rest in the fray, including their rival in the final from Chandigarh.
The final failed to up the ante as one had anticipated after the way the two teams had played in the first and second weeks, including in the knockout phase. The crowd expected some early fireworks from either side but it was absent throughout, except for some sporadic raids inside rival boxes.
The two teams, having sized up each other’s strengths and weaknesses, if there were any, prior to the final adopted a safety-first approach right from the whistle. In fact, both were more cautious about not conceding a goal and it resulted in both teams fortifying with solid defense.
Even when a few opportunities came their way, the normally-efficient strikers from the two sides reacted slowly to let defenders crowd them out and clear the ball back into play.
Earlier, a panel of members voted for the Goan outfit, Holy Spirit Institute High School, to receive the fair play trophy.
Chief guest Air Marshal M.K.Malik, who is also the vice-chairman of the Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society, gave away the trophy to the winners with guests from Delhi Dynamos’ president, Prashant Agarwall, chief technical officer Vishnu Madhu, head coach Gianluca Zambrotta, assistant coach Simone Barone and medical assistant Mari Cerra, joining the prize distribution ceremony.
Zambrotta spoke highly of the tournament and the Subroto Society and its sustained efforts for over five decades in hosting the football tournament for school boys.
“It’s a good concept and a healthy way to nurture talent,” said the celebrated coach.