The air was thick with emotion and it was swirling across the stadium packed to the rafters. The occasion was huge and the feelingwas shared by all.
As they readied themselves in the dressing room, the Ambedkar Stadium was abuzz with activity as 20,000 enthusiastic football fans formed a beeline to see a cliffhanger. The deafening noise, the trumpet blowers, horns and the drumsmade it the place to be on Wednesday. In the end, in the din of India’s historic win the sound of the champagne being popped up by Bhaichung Bhutia’s men was drowned out, but they would not mind it. After all, the feeling of being victorious tastes sweeter than everything else.
The cheering and roaring of the supporters in all the stands acted as a boost for the Bob Houghton’s boys. Every deft pass, every swirling cross, every shot taken by the Indian players was followed by loud cheers. As Bhutia lifted the trophy, the vociferous crowd made a desperate attempt to catch a glimpse of the players celebrating despite the beefed up security arrangements at the stadium.
Not complete without cricket
A cricketer presenting an award to the best footballer of thematch is an aberration but in India anything and everything is possible. Here, nothing is complete without cricket and even the world sport takes a backseat when you bring cricket in the discussion.
Going through a lean patch with the bat, Virender Sehwag got some time to spend his time in leisure andwas seen sitting in the VIP enclosure. For a change, the ONGC employee was not the centre of attraction and it were the Indian footballers who stole the limelight.