U-14 Subroto Cup: St Vincent’s thrash Millennium 4-0
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U-14 Subroto Cup: St Vincent’s thrash Millennium 4-0

Millennium held Vincent’s at bay in the first half before bowing to relentless pressure in second.

pune Updated: Aug 21, 2018 16:36 IST
Pranav Shahaney
Pranav Shahaney
Hindustan Times, Pune
Subroto Cup,U-14,Football
Millennium players (blue bibs) went toe-­to-­toe with the St Vincent’s players before caving in to the pressure on Monday at the Dobarwadi ground in Pune.(RAHUL RAUT/HT)

St Vincent’s high school carried their rich vein of form into the finals of the under-14 Subroto Cup football tournament, where they humbled Millennium high school by a 4-0 scoreline.

Bhargav Sawant scored a brace, while Arya Walia and Harsh Jagdale chipped in with a goal apiece.

In what was billed as a stern test between attack (Vincent’s) and defence (Millennium), it was attack that triumphed. From the opening whistle, it was clear which team had an eye for the net and within minutes, talisman Walia, found the net after calmly finishing off a pass from Dawir Lobo, but, it was unfortunately ruled offside.

That early chance gave Vincent’s the platform to go out an express themselves. Millennium looked to capitalise on their opponents’ rare lapses in concentration, but the Vincent’s defence held strong, giving the opposite strikers no room to manoeuvre into a legitimate goal-scoring opportunity. Going into the break, the game very much was in the balance, despite Vincent’s dominating possession and having the better chances.

St Vincent's under-14 football team pose after the final win on Monday. (HT PHOTO)

Just like the first half, Vincent’s began the second strongly and saw an early header find its way into the back of the net; again, offside, and celebrations were cut short. However, a couple of minutes later, a defensive error from Millennium gifted Vincent’s a glorious opportunity to score and with a bit of luck, Walia managed to break the deadlock after 26 minutes.

After taking the lead, Vincent’s continued throwing bodies forward. After missing a few half chances, Sawant managed to score his team’s second of the game as he beat the opposition for pace and held his nerve to double the lead over Millennium.

Sawant shortly added his second of the game and arguably the goal of the match as he fired home a well-hit shot that found the top right corner, leaving the Millennium keeper with no chance. The Vincent’s striker had timed his run to perfection and was found by a teasing delivery by winger Ashish Chopde.

With the game beyond all doubt, the Millennium players gave up and the team in yellow took full advantage as Prathamesh Nikam played a long ball into the stride of an unmarked Harsh Jagdale whose well-timed effort found the bottom left corner to make it 4-0.

The under-14 Vincent’s side will now play in the state-level competition of the Subroto Cup. The dates have not been announced yet, but it is expected to take place within the next few weeks.

Turning point

Vincent’s coach Wilson during his half-time talk. (HT PHOTO)

St Vincent’s head coach Wilson Andrews’ half-time talk seemed to motivate the Vincent’s players to give it their all in the second half of the game. The score was 0-0 in the first half. He told his players just which areas Millennium were lacking in, and they responded to his philosophy perfectly by scoring four second-half goals. The team in yellow seemed like a rejuvenated unit in the second period. They will now be ready to test their mettle against the best teams in the state.

Player of the game: Arya Walia

Size does matter at u­14 level, Arya Walia (second from left) showed as he dominated the opposition ‘D’. (HT PHOTO)

The towering centre forward put his hefty frame to good use as he used his size advantage to get the better of the weaker and arguably slower Millennium defenders. Vincent’s opted to play a direct game with Walia as their target man and he emerged as one of the game’s most influential players. He linked up the play to near perfection and executed the forward’s role exquisitely.

First Published: Aug 21, 2018 16:34 IST