4th December 2018 marked the day when the last of RFYS 2018-19 City Champions were crowned in the city of Kochi and with that, a three-month long City Championship extravaganza in 25 cities, came to a befitting close. The occasion was made even more special by German footballing great, Lothar Matthäus, who handed over the trophies to the Senior Boys Champions and interacted with the youngsters.
Sri Ayyankali Memorial Govt Model Residentials School squared off against GHSS Kalavoor, Alappuzha in the School Girls Final. Sri Ayyankali were right in their rhythm as they scored a staggering 9 goals in the first half and 5 more in the second half to end up as the Champions. A full-time score of 14-0 will surely reverberate in their minds going ahead, when they face tougher teams from the South Zone as well as the National Championship, if they qualify.
The second match was held between the College Boys of Nirmala College, Muvattupuzha and Mar Athanasius College, Kothamangalam. Atharva Dayal struck for Nirmala College in the 17th minute when his low left-footed finish managed to beat the keeper. Even at 1-0, Nirmala College kept pushing the foot on the gas pedal and finally doubled their advantage just before HT. Before they could do some damage control, Mar Athanasius found themselves conceding two more goals to Nirmala as the team from Muvattupuzha sailed through to win the College Boys Championship 4-0.
The penultimate final was played out between the Junior Boys of MVHSS Arumanoor and Tharbiyath Trust Vocational HSS. The game ended goalless in the first half but Tharbiyath found their foot in the second half and went 2-0 up in the 36th minute and ended the game as winners of Kochi with a comprehensive 3-0 win over MVHSS Arumanoor.
The last final between the Senior Boys of St. Joseph’s HSS and Tharbiyath Trust Vocational HSS a special one as it was attended by German legend, Lothar Matthäus. Lothar, a footballer who led West Germany to the World Cup title in 1990 and hit a personal high when he won the FIFA World Player Of The Year (now known as Ballon d’Or) in 1991, is one of the most successful players of all time. The young players got the opportunity to play in front of Lothar, who would be mighty impressed by what he saw on the field. St. Joseph’s were on song as they produced some quality display of football, coupled with intricate passing and a keen eye for goal and went into the half-time break with a 3-0 lead. Their second goal was a left-footed peach from outside the box that went straight into the far post. A solid defensive display was on show by Tharbiyath Trust Vocational HSS as they silenced the St. Joseph’s forward for the next 45 minutes but went down without scoring a goal of their own. St Joseph’s HSS had done themselves proud by claiming the Senior Boys trophy with a dominant performance, and that too, in front of a footballing legend.
With the conclusion of the Kochi City Finals, RFYS 2018-19 has taken one step forward by hosting such a fantastic tournament across 25 cities in India. The National Championship is just around the corner and going by what has happened in the past 3 months, one can expect a cracking end to RFYS 2018-19 journey.