Campion School, coached by Wilfred Alva, clinched the Under-16 Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) Division 1 title at Mumbai’s historic Cooperage Ground by defeating much fancied Don Bosco (Matunga) via the penalty shoot-out 4-3. The match ended goalless at the final whistle as fortunes swayed and chances fell to both sides during the match.
Don Bosco, coached by Leslie Machado, started off brightly keeping possession better while they camped inside the Campion half for the first 10 minutes of the match. As the game wore on, however, the Cooperage team gained in composure and confidence to make it a more even contest. While Don Bosco were technically superior, Campion’s defence maintained their discipline and shape exceptionally well.
Don Bosco captain and midfielder, Clivert Miller, was the team’s outstanding performer as he recycled possession beautifully, made rampaging forward runs and supplied his forwards with penetrative passes. For Campion, their defensive effort was highlighted when captain and right-back, Joshua Machado, tracked back 30 yards to tackle the Don Bosco striker who had been played clean through with the goalkeeper at his mercy. At the other end, the Campion striker missed a golden opportunity after breaking away from the opposition defence only to fire a meek shot at the Don Bosco keeper.
There was more to drama to unfold in the last quarter of the match as the referee awarded Don Bosco a free kick in the Campion penalty area after a Don Bosco attacker had been fouled in the 18-yard-box as a result of a goal-keeping error by the Campion custodian. Fortunately for Campion, the keeper atoned for his prior misjudgement by making an excellent save from the ensuing free kick.
Scores were tied at 0-0 at full-time, which meant that the championship would be decided on penalties since no extra time was to be played. While Campion began the tie-breaker shakily with a missed penalty, the Don Bosco boys were unable to hold their nerves when it mattered as Campion eventually won a hard-fought final 4-3.
Key Players: Clivert Miller (Don Bosco), Sanay Doshi (Campion)