Bosses of RFYS: Minerva, Umthli, Zakir Hussain and The Unique Model take home grand prize

Reliance Foundation Youth Sports hosted its football finals today for all four of its categories. With some mouth-watering fixtures lined up all throughout the day, there were a few nerve-wrecking moments as all eight teams gave it their complete efforts to try and be crowned as the Champions of the 2017 campaign.

Bosses of RFYS: Minerva, Umthli, Zakir Hussain and The Unique Model take home grand prize

Minerva Public School, Chandigarh were the name on everyone’s mind as they ran riot in their 4-0 win over Rosary Higher Secondary School, Goa. The team from Chandigarh were favourites to lift the Senior Boys National Championships trophy and they showcased just why. After getting the ball rolling with the opener in the 10th minute, it was all Minerva from there on. In the end, both key players Makan Winkle Chothe and Konan Zacharie Kouame managed to get on to the score-sheet, guiding their team to an emphatic win; Makan’s effort a rebound into an open net after his chip hit the post, making it 4-0. Both players had another reason to celebrate as they both finished joint highest scores in the National Championships and took the Golden Boot award with nine goals apiece.

The second final was more of the same, with the favourites Umthli Senior Secondary School registering a 4-0 win over P.S Senior Secondary School, Chennai. The first half was a goalless affair as both teams cancelled each other out. It was after the break that the team from Shillong upped the tempo and scored four goals in just over 20 minutes. Striker Nisilia Majaw scored a brace, one of which was a clinical low drive into the bottom corner, helping her end the competition with nine goals to her name, claiming the Golden Boot award.

Probably the best final of the evening took place in the Junior Boys category as Minerva Public School, Chandigarh and The Unique Model Academy, Imphal went all out to try and emerge victoriously. Both teams had managed to get on the score-line within the first five minutes before TUMA’s Takhellambam Singh gave his team the lead just before half-time. His effort was a sublime header after a curling free-kick was put into the box. Things changed immediately for the team from Imphal after the break, as Minerva grabbed two goals, the second one scored by Dalbir Singh with just a minute left to play. It looked certain that the Chandigarh outfit would take home two trophies on the day, but with Soibam Rohit Singh’s last shot of the game producing a goal, the game went into penalty-shootouts. In the end, The Unique Model Academy scored all four of their spot-kicks while their goalkeeper Nongthombam Meiraba showed acrobatic skills to deny Minerva from scoring two spot-kicks, to help his team take home the trophy with a 4-2 score-line in the penalties.

The title of comeback heroes went to Zakir Hussain, Delhi after they scored two goals in the last five minutes of the game to clinch the College Boys National championship trophy from the hands of Baselius College, Kochi with an eventual 2-1 victory. Aditya Singh Rawat and Karmanya Bansal left it late to cancel Haris Rahman’s 34th-minute goal for Kochi. The never die attitude was that the Delhi outfit is known for shone brightly through Zakir Hussain’s memorable victory.

With the finals of the RFYS football coming to an end, the campaign marks the end of a season which had everything in it from abundance of talent to incredible teamwork. In the end, all deserved champions from each category emerged victoriously and took home with them trophies and medals which they will cherish for the rest of their lives.