This weekend, the U15 Youth League saw 8 matches being played. But before we take a look at what happened over Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, let’s quickly recap the Goa Zone’s (Group C) last Monday and Tuesday matches. Last Monday, Dempo Sports Club U15 played host to Salgaocar FC U15. The match started off on an interesting note when Dempo’s Aaron S. Alvarez was shown a yellow card in the 20th minute. Nine minutes later, their opponents faced the same fate, when Salgaocar’s Riston Colaco was also given a yellow by the ref. Both teams were unable to score, and the match ended in a goalless draw. On Tuesday evening, Sporting Clube de Goa U15 took on SAI-Goa U15 at the Don Bosco Ground. Things got interesting just before the half time whistle, when the ref showed SAI-Goa’s TH London a yellow. Early on in the second half, Sporting Clube de Goa’s Sahil Sunil Halankar netted the ball off a pass from Desmond Fernandes in the 51st minute. SAI-Goa was unable to recover from the goal against them, and the match ended 1-0 in favour of their opponents.
Coming back to this weekend, Mohun Bagan AC U15 and United SC U15 started the proceedings on the Mohun Bagan Ground on Friday afternoon. Already at the top of the pool, United SC’s Sudipta Malakar scored in the 28th minute, giving his team a 1-0 lead. Mohun Bagan, who has managed only one win so far, could not compete with United SC’s strong team, and the match ended 1-0 in favour of United SC, only strengthening their position at the top of the Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A) table.
On Friday evening, high-scorers Pune FC U15 made their way to Cooperage ground to play hosts, Kenkre FC U15. With the hosts at the bottom of the table, and no wins under their belt, most expected the match to be a cakewalk, but Kenkre put up a strong fight. Despite their best efforts, Pune FC was unable to score until the 57th minute when a pass from Muhammed Shahad gave Caldeo Nongpluh a chance to shoot the ball past the goalie. Now with a one goal lead, Pune FC played with renewed resolve, and top scorer Ishan Dey scored in the 72nd minute, off a pass from Saurabh Salape. The match ended 2-0 in favour of visiting Pune FC.
On Saturday afternoon, the Kolkata-Jamshedpur Zone (Group A) had two matches being played simultaneously. Mohammedan SC U15 hosted East Bengal FC, while SAI-East played host to Tata Football Academy. East Bengal FC started off on the right foot and took the lead in the 37th minute when Asit Hembram scored. Despite originally being 3 points behind the hosts, East Bengal won the match 1-0. The match between Tata Football Academy and SAI-East was a very gripping one. Both teams played hard for their first win, and yellow cards were a common sight for the 90 minutes that the players were on the pitch. In the 8th minute itself, TFA’s Zulquar Nain was shown a yellow. Less than 10 minutes later, SAI-East’s Akash Shaw met the same fate. His teammates Raja Barman and Surajit Routh were also booked in the 28th and 62nd minute respectively. SAI-East was dealt a real blow when Bishal Halder was sent off in the 66th minute after getting a red card. TFA made a substitution in the 74th minute, bringing Abhishek Sen on in place of Akash Singh, and a goal by Sen in the 84th minute gave TFA a one-goal advantage over their opponents. The final whistle was blown soon after, and TFA walked away with their first win of the season.
On Saturday evening Salgaocar FC U15 took on Sporting Clube de Goa at the Assolna ground. In the 19th and 22nd minute, Larryl Mascarenhas assisted two easy goals for Salgaocar, giving his team the advantage. Shortly before the half time whistle, Tyson Silva netted the ball on a pass from Henning Pereira, increasing the gap between the teams. Sporting Clube de Goa came back strong in the second half, and in the 68th minute Aman Ulhas Govenkar gave his team their first goal of the game. Unable to score again, the match ended 3-1 in favour of Salgaocar FC.
On Sunday evening, PIFA Sports U15 hosted DSK Shivajians at the Cooperage ground. PIFA was quick to start and Prasheel Dhaure gave his team the lead in the 10th minute itself. A bad move in the 21st minute saw the ref sending off DSK’s Piyush Joshi with a red card. Despite a player being sent off, DSK Shivajian’s Denzil Kharshandii was able to defeat PIFA’s goalkeeper off a pass from teammate Yuvraj Sawant and levelled the score in the 31st minute! The game would end in a 1-all draw.
Monday evening saw two matches being played. In the Goa Zone, Dempo Sports U15 hosted SAI-Goa U15. Dempo had the lead when the half time whistle blew after a goal in the 44th minute by Malcolm M Gonsalves. SAI-Goa came back strong in the second half and Shivam Badve scored off a pass from Sunil Kumar in the 50th minute, making it even on both sides. Both teams strengthened their defence, and the game ended in draw. The second match of the day was an intense one between Mumbai FC U15 and Steadfast Mumbai Rush SC U15. Mumbai FC grabbed the lead in the 20th minute when a pass by Kamran Ansari gave Archis Kowli a chance to net the ball. In the 37th minute, Manav Baraskar scored off another pass by Ansari. Just after half time, Ansari scored Mumbai FC’s third goal in the 55th minute. Another goal in the 61st and 70th minute by Mumbai FC widened the gap between them and their opponents. A foul move by Mumbai FC’s N Nikhil Prabhu saw him being sent off with a red in the 81st minute, and the match ended with Mumbai FC claiming a cool 5-0 victory over their opponents.
Here’s a look at the tables after the matches this weekend. While there aren’t any real upsets or changes, the goal difference between Pune FC and Mumbai FC has decreased significantly. Could it be that Pune FC hit their peak far too early in the League?