It’s been 4 weeks since the Hero Under-15 Youth League kicked-off, and the competition is really heating up! The Goa Zone (Group C) started off the week’s proceedings, when Dempo Sports Club U15 handed Sporting Club de Goa U15 a 5-0 hammering on Tuesday. Dempo were quick to start, scoring as early as the 9th minute. Baggio Fernandes then netted the ball in the 30th minute again, giving Dempo a 2-0 lead before half time. In the second half, Aaron Alvarez fired a brace, and assisted a third to give Dempo a massive 5-0 victory.
On Friday afternoon, the Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A) saw an intense Kolkata derby match when Mohun Bagan AC U15 hosted East Bengal FC U15. The game began at a high pace with tackles flying until Mohun Bagan’s Samir Gain was shown a yellow in the 26th minute. East Bengal FC then took advantage of their opponent’s mistake and scored a goal in the 27th minute. Three minutes later, Asit Hembram tricked the goalie, and East Bengal FC had a 2-0 lead before half time. Despite being unable to score any more goals in the second half, East Bengal kept the match interesting with three of their players being shown yellow cards in the 74th, 76th and 91st minutes.
The Maharashtra Zone (Group B) had all eyes on them as Kenkre FC U15 hosted Steadfast Mumbai Rush SC U15 on Saturday evening at the Cooperage ground. Both teams were looking for their first win, and a quick goal from Steadfast gave them the lead in the 23rd minute. Despite Kenkre FC gaining control and maintaining possession for most of the first half, Steadfast were able to score again in the 42nd minute, giving them a two-goal lead. Kenkre’s Sidhu Pawar was shown a red, after two consecutive yellows, in the 75th minute. Down to 10 men, Kenkre managed a goal just before the full-time whistle, but were unable to bag their first win of the season, losing 2-1 to their opponents.
On Sunday afternoon, Tata Football Academy U15 came face-to-face with United SC U15. Quick goals in the 6th and 13th minute gave United SC the lead. A third goal in the 27th minute gave Sudipta Malakar a hat-trick! Three more goals in the second half gave United SC an easy 6-0 victory over their hosts, TFA, who will need to improve significantly if they are to move up in the table. Mohammedan SC U15 also played their match against SAI-East U15 on Saturday afternoon, but the game ended in a goalless draw.
Pune FC U15 were back at home for their match against PIFA Sports U15 on Sunday afternoon. Quickly taking charge, Pune FC‘s star scorer Ishan Dey netted the ball in the 3rd minute off a penalty to give his team the lead. Mozaffar Ali scored in the 9th minute, Ishan scored again in the 32nd minute and Gulam Ansari scored in the 54th minute to put the match well out of PIFA’s reach. The next 5 minutes yielded a flurry of goals with Cladeo Nongpluh scoring in the 69th minute for Pune FC before Ranjan Tamang scored a consolation goal for PIFA in the 73rd minute following which Pune FC responded immediately through Mozaffar Ali in the 74th minute to restore their 5-goal lead. The match would finish at 6-1 in favour of the Pune side.
Later on Sunday evening, DSK Shivajians FC U15 hosted Mumbai FC U15 in an exciting game. Both teams came on strong, but Mumbai FC left it late scoring in the 87th minute, when Kamran Ansari was able to net the ball to give Mumbai FC the lead just before full-time. The match ended shortly after, with the hosts losing 1-0.
The competition this weekend was fierce, and the Goa Zone will see 2 more matches being played today and tomorrow. It’s great to have a buzz about U15 football in India at a national level for the first time. Credit to the AIFF for making it happen!
P.S. Table updates below (as of 23 November, 2015)