Subroto Cup junior boys’ football: Sudden-death victory for Santo Antonio

MIDFIELD ACTION: Luan of Santo Antonio and Arun Suresh of MSP vie for the ball in the Subroto Cup final in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma  

Colegio Estadul Santo Antonio (Brazil) came back from the brink to win the Subroto Cup junior boys’ football final at the expense of MSP Higher Secondary School (Kerala) via penalties at the Ambedkar Stadium.

Trailing 1-2 till the very end of normal time, the Brazilians were rescued by Jose Ricardo’s header off a sumptuous Romulo cross. There was no time left to resume play afterwards.

The match eventually went to penalties and the Brazil side won 5-4 in sudden death. Both teams missed a spot-kick in the regulation shootout but the decisive error was made by M.J. Jonas as his effort was palmed away by Filipe.

A sizeable portion of Kerala’s advantage was down to good fortune. Brazil attacked relentlessly throughout the contest but was denied by poor finishing, woodwork, last-ditch defending and controversial decisions by the referee.

The Brazilians’ inept defending further helped Kerala. The first goal was scored by Mahin Hussain when Filipe rushed away from his goal and the former’s header off a freekick went in.

The lead was doubled in the second half as Gani Ahamed Nigam ran through on a counter attack to lob past the ’keeper. The Brazilian side’s emphasis on attack left it short at the back quite often.

The comeback, though, began less than a minute later. Ricardo swept home from close range after his initial attempt was parried by the ’keeper of the tournament, M.S. Sujith.

The Brazilians tired as the match progressed and Kerala should have sealed the title when Nigam was left free in the box, 10 yards from goal. However, he could only drag the finish wide.

It was to prove crucial as the Brazilians equalised in injury time. In truth, considering all that had happened before, the Fluminense-affiliated side probably deserved more.

The result: Final: Colegio Estadul Santo Antonio, Brazil 2 (Jose Ricardo 44, 70+3) drew with MSP HSS, Kerala 2 (Mahin Hussain 14, Gani Ahamed Nigam 43). Brazil won 5-4 on penalties.

Awards: Best player: Loran (Brazil). Best goalkeeper: M.S. Sujith (Kerala).  Most promising player: Tajuddin (Meghalaya);  Best coach: Gustavo Leal (Brazil). Fair play: Ragunan Sports School, Indonesia.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 10:31:13 AM |

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