New Delhi: The AIFF U-17 Colts bagged what they had dreamt off. The AIFF Academy cadets, deserving Champions of the Subroto Cup Football Tournament were handed over the Subroto Cup Champions Trophy by KING Pele at the Ambedkar Stadium in the Capital on Friday.
The AIFF Academy cadets came back from behind to rout Little Angels Paradise Secondary School, Manipur 4-1 in the Final.
With KING Pele himself watching from the stands, the Indian Colts, playing their heart out made spectacular comeback which will remain etched in hearts for long.
AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel congratulated the boys on the feat. ‘Congratulations to the AIFF academy U-17 boys team on their emphatic victory in the Subroto Cup final’ he tweeted from his personal account @praful_patel moments after the final whistle.
Coming on the back of a 2-0 win against Indonesia, the Indian Colts conceded an early goal in the 6th minute as Manipur blasted home their opportunity.
Not to be deterred the Indian Colts mounted their own attacks shortly after. In the 11th minute Edmund found Bedeshwor in an attempt to release him on goal, but the latter was caught in defensive music. Seconds later Bodo tried to chip the Manipuri custodian, however the custodian was a fraction too early and plucked the ball safely in his clutches.
With the Indian defence thwarting the Manipuri attacks, the Indian midfield tired to split open the Manipuri defence line with exquisite through balls.
After wriggling past the opposition defence, Edmund shot onto goal, but the lanky forward’ shot was inches wide of the intended target in the 18th minute.
The AIFF U17 Colts equalized in the 25th minute as Jaya’s delicious cross-in , after a lung-bursting run, was tapped home by Bodo. The Colts were unable to breach the Manipuri defence lines for the remaining time and both Teams went into the tunnel at halftime on level pegging. 1-1 the score-line read.
Changing over and the Indian colts came close to taking the lead, second after re-start as Bodo’s shot came agonizingly close to the goal. Seven minutes later, the Colts were fostered a brilliant opportunity to take the lead as a whipped in cross from the right flank failed to be converted by Bedeshwor, with the goal at his mercy.
With the Colts piling pressure and taking the game by the scruff of its neck, whilst dominating possession, attacks on the Manipuri defence came in plenty. An Ashraf free-kick in the 46th minute of the edge of the penalty box flew inches over the bar, after ricocheting off the Manipuri wall.
It was only a matter of time for the AIFF Colts to score and score they did in the 54th minute with style. Rahul Yadav took matter into his own hand and un-leashed a swirling shot from 25yards which went past the Manipuri custodian to give the Colts a solitary goal lead.
Seconds after the restart, the AIFF Colts scored again. This time Edmund slotted the ball past the Manipuri custodian to give the Colts a two goal advantage.
Shortly after, the Colts were awarded a penalty kick and Nijwm slotted it comfortably past the Manipuri custodian to give a three goal lead cushion.
Thereafter it was all about patience for the Indian Colts and at the end of time the score-line read 4-1 as the AIFF U17 Colts lifted the coveted Trophy, that too from KING PELE.
By Joseph Solomon,
AIFF Media Team