Winners Neem Park Football Club team poses with guests and officials. (Pics by Anil Futane)
Principal Correspondent :
NEEM Park Football Club rallied to beat Deputy Director of Sports and Youth Services (DDSYS) to clinch the Shiv Bhola Krida Mandal organised five-a-side football tournament on Sunday. In an exciting final, Neem FC beat DDSYS by two goals to one. DDSYS took the lead in the 8th minute through Harsh Choubey but Neem FC drew parity within two minutes through Tilak Singh’s goal. Giftson Saji then scored his team’s second goal two minutes later which turned out to be the match winner. Earlier in the semi-finals, Neem Park FC stunned Dream and Dreamers by two goals to one while DDSYS edged past a mighty Kanojiya Football Club by a solitary goal. In the first semi-final, Sagar Mishra gave Neem Park FC lead in the 21st minute.
After several attempts he finally managed to breach the DND defence in the 21st minute. One brought two and Giftson Saji slotted the second goal of Neem Park within two minutes of play. DND tried hard to bounce back in the game and succeeded in reducing the margin. Tushkey Gajbhiye’s powerful right footer in the 26th minute gave some hope to DND. But Neem Park FC defended well the remaining few minutes to make it to the final. DDSYS were lucky as they managed to pip Kanojiya FC. Nakib Akhter’s goal at the stroke of half-time was enough for them to book a date with Neem FC. They defended their citadel well in the second half to keep Kanojiya FC at bay.
The title winning team received a cash prize of Rs 10,000 while the runners up got Rs 7,000. Rahul Virmani (Hilltop) was declared as the best player of the tournament while Christopher Phillip (DDSYS) was named as man of the match. Sunil Pillay (Neem FC) won the best goalkeeper award. Umesh Dhote, CEO, Sandeep Dwellers Pvt Ltd was the chief guest of the prize distribution function. Anirudh Palkar, former Ranji trophy player and Director of Apollo Basketball Nagpur, Atmaram Pande, Director of Big Ben Football Club and others were also present. Atul Neware, Sidharth Kale, Rahul Neware, Nayeem Ansari, Ajay Jichkar, Rakesh Twari, Kailash Neware and others worked hard for the success of the competition.