CHANDIGARH, SEPT 2 :Strong contenders St Stephen’s School Football Academy just managed to pip spirited Punjab Football Association by a solitary goal in their opening group C match on the second day of the 6th Administrator’s Challenge Cup All-India Football Tournament for Under-17 being organised by the Chandigarh Sports Department at the Sector 42 Football Stadium here today.
The all-important goal was scored by Kuldeep Anitl who converted a corner taken by Abhishek Rawat from the left flank in the 38th minute.
Both teams dished out competitive soccer. In a tough encounter, Punjab Football Association pressed hard and they did every thing except scoring. With ten minutes left, Punjab Football Association had a golden chance to restore parity. With Stephen’s goalkeeper Subham Gupta advancing, PFA striker Kulbir Singh volleyed over the crossbar. Few minutes later PFA had another opportunity to score. However, Manjeet Singh shot was neatly collected by Stephen’s goalkeeper Shubham.
St Stephen’s also wasted some good chances to score. Uma Kant’s powerful shot hit the crosspeice and Jony Chand Singh’s sizzling left footer was brilliantly saved by PFA goalkeeper Nishad Sidham. Samandram Langa muffed two chances.
Earlier, hosts Chandigarh Football Academy, a venture of the Chandigarh Administration, continued their winning spree as they handed out a 7-0 drubbing to Haryana Football Association in a group A encounter.The highlight of the one-sided match was a three-in-a-row feat, the first of the tournament, by striker Gagandeep Singh. He scored his first goal in the 19th minute. However, he Gagan had to wait to net his second goal which he scored in the 43rd minute. The CFA striker completed his hat-trick with a fine goal in the 49th minute. It was Amandeep Singh who gave CFA the lead with a goal in the 6th minute. Later Sehnaj (16th), substitute Sumit Passi (52nd) and substitute Sameul (90th) contributed one goal each to complete rout of Haryana Football Association.
It was second successive triumph for CFA. On the inaugural day on Monday, CFA had rained nine goals against Steadfast Sports Academy of Mumbai.
In contrast, Rohit Football Academy of Orissa snatched full points at the expense of a never-say-die Tamil Nadu Football Association. The Orissa had to work hard for a hard-fought 4-3 verdict in another group A match. Rohit Football Academy drew the first blood in the ninth minute while Edward Sydney restored parity for Tamil Nadu in the 23rd minute.
Having neutralised the lead, the Tamil Nadu team maintained pressure and SS Dussan gave his team the lead with a goal in the 26th minute.
After reorganising their game, Rohit Football Academy launched counter-attacks and neutralised the lead in the 43rd minute through Imran Khan. With excitement rising, Tamil Nadu did not surrender and Dussan put his team ahead with a 56th minute goal.
The Orissa team then raised their game and SK Jabeer neutralised the lead in the 72nd minute. In a ding-dong battle, the Orissa team snatched the match-winner in the 85th minute through Sri T Gautam and logged full three points.
Chattisgarh Football Association lost their match and temperament against Delhi Soccer Association in a group D fixture. After an unproductive first half, DSA scored three goals without reply. Geroge Verghese scored a brace, with his goals in the 74th and 78th minute. Roshan Rai had put DSA ahead in the 61st minute.
Two minutes after DSA had established a commanding 3-0 lead in the 78th minute, Chattisgarh Football Association’s Arshula Khan was shown red card by referee Kulwinder Singh for using abusive language. Khan will now miss his next match against Mahilpur Football Academy tomorrow. Earlier, V Pawan Kumar, also of Chattisgarh was given yellow card as he deliberatley started resorting to rough play.
Tomorrow’s fixtures:At Sector 17 Football Stadium: Indian Football Association vs Delhi Soccer Association (8.30 a.m.), Mahilpur Football Academy vs Chattisgarh Football Academy (3 p.m.).
At Sector 42 Football Ground: Steadfast Sports Academy, Mumbai, vs Tamil Nadu Football Association (7 a.m.), Rohit Football Academy, Orissa vs Madhya Pradesh Football Association (8.30 a.m.), Cantonment Board Jalandhar vs Bihar Football Association (10 a.m.).