Springfield FC,Vashi,came good when it mattered the most to shoot down Young Boys,Madanpura,5-4 in the crucial tie-breaker to emerge First Division champions in the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) League at the packed St. Xaviers ground,Parel,on Tuesday.
After the thrilling summit clash ended goalless,the Vashi outfit showed stronger nerves and better marksmanship as they successfully converted all the five attempts from the penalty spot through Nikhil Gupta,Shrinath Suvarna,Mayur Bhabal,Vernon Saldanha and John Gonsalves. In contrast Young Boys managed to score only four,through Souvaid Ansari,H. Ansari,Farhan Ansari (Jr) and Rizwan Ansari. Fahad Ansari,taking the third kick,fired over the crossbar.
In a fast-paced and evenly contested final,both teams dished out exciting football. The two teams played an open game and showed plenty of creativity as they made incisive forays towards the rival citadels as a result there was plenty of exciting moments at either end. But the strikers from both sides failed to put the finishing touches to the chances that came their way and the match ended in a goalless stalemate.
Springfield striker Vernon Saldanha was the biggest culprit as he wasted three clear chances from close,while at the other end Rizwan messed up an equal number of opportunities.
But credit has to be given to both the goalkeepers,Vinay Singh of Springfield and Uzair Ansari of Young Boys,as they made some timely saves to keep their respective citadels intact.
Earlier in the third place match,Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana,Santacruz staved off a spirited fight back from St. Sebastian,Chembur to record a close 4-3 victory.
The champs,Springfield went home richer with a purse of Rs 35,000 and the winners trophy; Young Boys received the runners-up trophy and a cash prize of Rs 20,000 and the Santacruz club got Rs 10,000. Springfield goalkeeper Vinay Singh who was outstanding under the bar was later adjudged the Player of the tournament and received a cash award of Rs 5,000.
Results: (Final) Springfield FC 5 (Nikhil Gupta,Shrinath Suvarna,Mayur Bhabal,Vernon Saldanha,John Gonsalves) beat Young Boys 4 (Souvaid Ansari,H. Ansari,Farhan Ansari (Jr),Rizwan Ansari) via the tie-breaker (full-time 0-0); (Third place): Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana,Santacruz 4 (Mikhail DSouza 2,Samuel Damor,Jess Jacinto) beat St. Sebastian,Chembur 3 (Russel DSa,Mukesh Singh,Everton DMello ).