Air India U19 clinch the Dr Nitu Mandke Memorial Cup 2017

The champs Air India Under-19 players pose with the winner’s trophy alsong with Chief Guest, Jaya Shetty (centre), a former Indian kabaddi player and Hon. Secretary of Karnatak SA and MDFA Executive Managing Committee members at the prize distribution function of the MDFA organised Dr. Nitu Mandke Memorial Trophy ‘Republic Day’ football tournament 2017, and played at the St. Xavier’s ground, Parel.

26th January 2017, Parel: A very consistent performer Air India U19 emerged champions of the ‘Dr Nitu Mandke Memorial Cup 2017’ also called MDFA’s Republic cup tournament sponsored by Indian Football Academy and Mumbai United. The final was played between Air India and GMSC at St. Xavier’s ground, Parel on the historic Republic day, both the teams gave their heart out performance but at the end, Airmen overcame hardworking GMSC by a 3-1 margin via the penalty shootout after the title deciding match ended a goalless draw.

Earlier, Air India outplayed Worli SC and Century Rayon comfortably whereas GMSC got past  Chedda Nagar prodigies and Dena bank on their road to finals.

It wasn’t as easy as both the teams playing their third game of the day, but the electrifying atmosphere and the eagerness to win the historic day tournament gave a boost to the youngsters. Shyam Sawant’s side got the super combination amongst the team players and as a unit, they dominated the entire match and keep the opponent GMSC on the backfoot.

In the quarter-finals Air India thrashed Worli SC by 3-0 margin as Advait Shinde, Dinku Tomba & Adnan Yaligar scored each whereas GMSC on the other side defeated Chheda Nagar prodigies through the penalty shootout as the game ended up in a goalless draw.

Air India again showed their worth as Dinku Tomba & Adnan Yaligar scored each to give 2 goals lead over Century Rayon, the second semi-finalists gave up on a fight over the final berth as in the 13th minute an undoubted red card was shown by Referee Dinesh Yadav to Ligin Fernandez who fouled on Dinku Tomba. The Rayons after an argument with the referees  & the MDFA committee members regarding the card and gave up on playing the rest of the game letting Air India U19 ease to a finalist spot.

Another game for GMSC was decided through penalties as they beat Dena Bank by 3-2 score line where all five goals came in during penalties.

Air India U19 & GMSC deservedly saw themselves playing the final match of the MDFA Republic Cup with all the spectators to witness the high-intensity match. GMSC defended well to avoid leaking any goals and kept the opponent away from the scoring zone and succeeding them to play tie-breaker. Advait Shinde, Ashwin Ahire and Elvis Rodrigues did no mistake while taking the penalty whereas, except Hitesh Patel from the trailing side, rest all fail to convert their chances allowing the youngsters of Air India U19 have their hands on the glittering ‘Dr Nitu Mandke Memorial Cup 2017’ trophy.

Player of the Tournament was awarded to GMSC’s striker Roshan Karmaran with a cheque of Rs.5000.

Runners Up trophy was awarded to GMSC along with a cheque of Rs.20000.

Winners Trophy and a cheque of Rs.30000 was presented to Air India team.

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