Pune: Vidya Bhavan H.S turned out to be lone group topper from the group stage to qualify for the last-4 of the Bajaj Allianz-Aspire India School 5s Under-12 Invitational football tournament, at the Freekick Turfs, Baner, on Saturday.
The other semifinalists were surprise entrants with SSPMS Boarding, Indira National School, Wakad and Hume McHenry turning out to be teams who finished their respective groups as second-best.
Vidya Bhavan began with a struggle in their knockout campaign needing a comeback win over Ornellas HS 2-1, with Aryan Sahu netting the match-winner. However, in their quarterfinal encounter, they rode on Kshitij Kolkate’s three-goal effort to down GG International 3-0. GG International looked to be title contenders as they came in with an all-win record.
SSPMS Boarding and Hume McHenry impressed scoring eight goals in the two knockout matches they played en route the semis.
SSPMS ran their success via the effort of Harshavardhan Pawar who scored eight goals. First, they beat Anglo Urdu Boys 4-0 and then downed Pawar Public School 4-1 to avenge the loss they suffered in the group-stage at Mundhwa.
Hume McHenry followed SSPMS’s route fighting off the challenge of Hill Green 3-2 in a tight match and then ran up a 5-0 scoreline against Aspire India Juniors with the Shaikh siblings Ayaan and Abusufiyan netting two each.
Among all semifinalists, Indira National School, Wakad had a rough run. In the last-16, Indira pushed out Ramabai Marathi Medium School 4-3 in the tiebreaker after sharing a goal each at full time. Laksh Rangnekar turned out to be the match-winner.
In their quarterfinal tie, Indira had Shikhar Maurya score a brace to down Vibgyor High, Balewadi 2-0.
For the statistic minded, a total of 48 goals were scored in 12 matches during the day.