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Chandigarh is national champion

In May 2008,when Sumit Passi got a chance to visit Germany for training,he played with the German Under-17 team and got a feel of artificial turf.

Written by Tashi Lundup | Chandigarh | Published: June 28, 2010 2:58:58 am

Under-19 team beats Bengal in football to lift Dr B C Roy Trophy for the first time

In May 2008,when Sumit Passi got a chance to visit Germany for training,he played with the German Under-17 team and got a feel of artificial turf. Then in July that year,he played in the Asian School Games in Thailand.

On Sunday,Passi’s experience came handy in the final match of Dr B C Roy Trophy in West Bengal,as he converted the penalty in the shootout into a goal to help Chandigarh lift its first-ever trophy in Under-19 Junior Nationals.

Earlier,the match had ended in a 1-1 draw. And the final aggregate score read 6-4.

Before Passi’s turn to take the penalty shoot,a West Bengal player had shot the ball wide. So the onus was on Passi to put the team in lead.

“There was pressure,but I was confident as I had support of the entire team. We played well tonight and deserved to win,” the 17-year-old told Newsline over phone from West Bengal.

The other four players,Akashdeep Singh,Chinkash Tiwari,Gagandeep Singh and Shehnaz Singh,also converted their penalty shots into goals.

The win was against the same West Bengal side that beat Chandigarh 2-1 in the quarter-final match. It was noteworthy,as the Chandigarh team was playing against a home side.

“It was a very tough match. They were the team to beat in the tournament and the crowd was against us. After losing against them in the quarter-final,we had planned our game accordingly. The boys stuck to that and we were able to show them that Chandigarh can also play good football,” coach Tejinder Kumar said.

Many factors went against the visiting Chandigarh team like playing on an artificial turf and then facing a strong West Bengal side in the final with 10 men — Sandesh Jhingani was sent off the ground after a second yellow card.

“We are grateful to the Chandigarh Administration for giving us a chance to go for training in Germany. We played there on artificial pitches and that experience greatly helped us in this tournament,” Passi,the striker of his team,said. “After playing on artificial pitches till the quarter-final round,we were suddenly shifted to grass. But we managed to adjust well and that helped us in winning the trophy.”

Performance of players from the Chandigarh Football Academy (CFA) was also on full display. Gagandeep,Akashdeep,Passi and Lalthazuala — he scored the goal — gelled well.

“Now nobody will take Chandigarh lightly as far as junior nationals are concerned. Today we have proved our mettle. We have been trying to get Chandigarh on the football map of the country. Today,we have managed to do that,” Tejinder said.

Joint Director Sports Dr J P S Sidhu said the players,coach,manager and the Chandigarh Football Association deserved credit for lifting the Dr B C Roy Trophy for the first time.

14 CFA players in team
The winning team has as many as 14 players from the Chandigarh Football Academy. After the inception of the academy in 2000,Chandigarh footballers began to make a mark on the national football scene. The academy was conceived by Lt Gen J F R Jacob,PVSM (Retd).

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