Eight teams, one last hustle
A journey that began on 4th September will conclude on 7th January 2019 in the city where it all started. The RFYS Football National Championship Finals will be held at Reliance Corporate Park, Mumbai. In the past five months, eight teams have made their way to the final and have proved themselves to be the best teams in their respective categories. Here’s an in-depth look on how the teams have stacked up throughout the National Championship in the four categories.
Maharana Pratap Sports College, the team from Dehradun, has been the most impressive team in this category so far. Their passage to the Final was a smooth ride, as they won all four of their games, conceded 0 goals as well as scored 8. Led by their Captain Wajid Ali, who’s a box-to-box midfielder, they have been ruthless in their approach. Wajid led from the front and scored a wonderful goal that should count as one of the best of the National Championship. They face an uphill battle when they face another team from the North, St. Anthony’s HSS, Shillong. The North-eastern side has a formidable goal scoring record, having scored 11 goals in their four National Championship fixtures. Their striker Justerwell Tham has been in red hot form throughout the tournament, stacking up 6 goals in four matches and sitting on top of the Junior Boys Golden Boot leaderboard. When these teams collide tomorrow, expect Maharana Pratap to go all guns blazing but St. Anthony’s HSS can hurt them with their quick counter attack.
Shillong College HSS have kept three clean sheets out of a possible four in the Senior Boys category and have dominated each opponent they have played against. Their 5-0 win over JJ Government Boys Higher Secondary School was a display of the kind of attacking prowess that they possess. Their mindset is about scoring more and more goals and so far, the strategy has worked. Squaring up against them is Malabar Special Police Higher Secondary School, Kozhikode. Malabar started their campaign with a 3-3 draw against Kolkata’s champions Gangadharpur Vidyamandir, a game in which they bottled up the lead thrice. Even then, they were confident about topping a difficult group and then two games later, they found themselves on top and facing a Rosary HSS side which finished second in the other group. Kozhikode’s champions advanced to the final of the Senior Boys Final with a 2-0 victory over Rosary and set up an exciting clash against Shillong College HSS. The teams will face off 10:00 AM in what promises to be a hard-fought battle.
Nilamani English School carried on their dominant form from the National Qualifiers to Mumbai and cruised through their opponents on their way to the final. Banking on their striker, Serto Linda Kom, they have scored a staggering 18 goals in the four National Championship games. Their impressive attack is backed by a solid defense that doesn’t allow any space for the opposition forwards and will be inching to put their best performance in the final. Faith Higher Secondary School’s passage to the final involved three impressive wins and one disappointing loss. Having scored eight goals in four matches, their most impressive performance was in the semi-final and they go into the final with momentum on their side. The School Girls will clash at 12:20 PM tomorrow and it will be interesting to know where the trophy goes, Ahmedabad or Imphal.
Thakur College and Nirmala College were already through to the semis when they faced each other in the third and final group fixture. Nirmala College came out 2-1 victorious then and have not looked back since, winning a tough semi-final fixture against Guru Hargobind Khalsa College 3-1. The team has a brilliant passing range and they play high press, pace induced football that is based on the interchangeable positioning of their forwards. Thakur College were a goal down in their semi-final fixture against Shillong College when their fortunes turned around. After equalizing in the first half itself, they got the lead and conceded a penalty to Shillong College. Their keeper saved two penalties to deny Shilllong College any chances of equalizing as they ended up as 3-1 winners at the full-time whistle. Hailing from Mumbai, they have the home advantage against Nirmala but also bear the extra pressure from their previous encounter.
The third RFYS Football National Championship Finals will be telecasted on Star Sports 3 and Jio TV app from 8:15 AM onwards. Tune-in and watch India’s next generation champions showcase their prowess for the ultimate glory.