Boys from the Chandigarh Football Academy (CFA) sealed a berth in the Southeast Asia Zone leg of the Manchester United Premier U-15 Cup on Thursday evening. In the national final played in Goa, the Chandigarh team defeated Mumbai 2-0, and will now fly to Indonesia for the continental leg that begins on May 27.
In a contest that went down the wire after the two teams were locked in a goalless draw in regulation time, Samual scored twice for the Chandigarh team in the extra 10 minutes.
In the semifinal played earlier in the morning, too, Samual, who was adjudged player of the tournament, had scored a brace as Chandigarh routed Goa 6-0. CFA's Prabhsukham was named the best goalkeeper.
"It is a big achievement for our boys as they got past some very tough teams from places that have a great football culture. We have proved once again that we are a dominant force in the junior categories (under-15, under-16)," said an upbeat CFA head coach Harjinder Singh on the phone from Goa.
He added that the team would return to Chandigarh in a couple of days and start training for the upcoming stage, which will feature a total of six teams. The team winning the Southeast Asia Zone will qualify for the main event to be played in England.
Only last Saturday, Chandigarh had qualified for the national finals after winning the north, east and northeastern zonal leg by defeating hosts Jharkhand.
As a result both Chandigarh and Jharkhand had qualified while Goa and Mumbai qualified from the south and west zones, respectively. Mumbai had defeated Jharkhand in the other semifinal to qualify for the summit clash.