THE STRAINS of Vande Matram played in the backdrop, but that wasn't enough to inspire Indian Nationals as they lost to New Delhi Heroes by a solitary goal in the final of the DSA Senior Division Championship at the Ambedkar Stadium on Monday. Nationals put their opponents on the back foot from the start but failed to capitalize on the opportunities that came their way. In the 31st minute, midfielder P. Kundu fed Robin Singh but the striker failed to convert. Nationals were again on the move in the 37th minute but mid-fielder Anthony Agbaraji too missed the opportunity.
Heroes, who were on the defensive till then, had a crack at goal when defender Saryat Raza essayed a pass to Harvinder Singh who dodged past the defenders fed Baba Tunde in the 41st minute. But in a bid to corner glory, Tunde's solo effort went in vain.
The second half also saw the sides struggling to gain supremacy. The impasse was finally broken in the 83rd minute when striker Gyan Mayon found the net after receiving a cross from Amitya Ganguly from the left flank.
The winners went home richer by a lakh of rupees while Nationals gained by Rs 50,000. Rajat Guha of Nationals was adjudged the best goalkeeper while Heroes' Harvinder Singh bagged the best forward title. Arup Sarkar of Tarun Sangha was named the best mid-fielder while the best defender's crown went to Jasbir Singh of Ahbab F.C.