Orange rule the roost as Gupta breaks Thane hearts

What a finish to the quarterfinals of the 2019 WIFA Inter-District Championship Sub-Junior Boys. Nagpur rose to the occasion as they dumped out in-form Thane. Stand-in goalkeeper Nitin Gupta saved a late spot-kick to send Thane tumbling.

The 2019 WIFA Inter-District Championship Sub-Junior Boys is hosted by the Western India Football Federation (WIFA) and Jalgaon District Football Association (JDFA).

Pinch Jeera Masala, Stamina Apple Fizzy Fruit Drink, Mahaveer Classes, Jain Irrigation Systems Pvt. Ltd, WIFA, Jain Sports Academy, Meera Cola and Pride are the major sponsors.

Mumbai obliterated Palghar in the first quarterfinal. Mohammed Kaif Ansari scored a double hat-trick. Punit Singh, Yohana Martin, Mohammed Jaffer Mansoori and Ryan Lobo were the other goal scorers.

Mumbai – 10 (Mohd. Kaif Ansari (5’, 21’, 24’, 34’, 53’, 59’), Punit Singh (17’), Yohana Martin (18’), Mohd. Jaffer Mansoori (40’), Ryan Lobo (56’) beat Palghar – 0

Kolhapur beat Amravati 8-0 in the second game. The trio of Prashant Salawade, Gandharva Chavan and Sanket Medhe starred in another goal riot. Salawade grabbed a hat-trick while Medhe hit four goals. Chavan wrapped it up with a fine effort in the dying minutes.

Kolhapur – 8 (Prashant Salawade (2’, 18’, 19’), Sanket Medhe (4’, 24’, 31’, 44’), Gandharva Chavan (52’) beat Amravati – 0

Pune and Ahmednagar battled it out in the third game. Goals from Vinit Chauhan and Tushar Durga won it for Pune. The game was a test of mettle and character as both teams went toe to toe.

Pune – 2 (Vinit Chauhan (13’), Tushar Durga (58’)) beat Ahmednagar – 0

The best was reserved for the last as Nagpur beat Thane in a cliffhanger. The game had drama dime-a-dozen! Utkarsh Mankar scored in the 14th minute for Nagpur. What a goal it was… a fine solo effort! It was his fifth goal in two games. Thane just couldn’t break past a wall of Orange shirts. And as Manav Sharma’s shot whistled past the post in the second-half…Thane knew that it just wasn’t their day! Stand-in goalkeeper Nitin Gupta parried away Thane’s spot-kick in the dying minutes to end their misery. As Nagpur celebrated…Thane had thrown away a lifeline!

Nagpur – 1 (Utkarsh Mankar (14’)) beat Thane – 0

Key stats:

1) 25 games have been played so far (including the quarterfinals).
2) 106 goals have been scored so far.
3) Utkarsh Mankar’s goal was the 106th goal of the tournament (till the end of the quarterfinals).
4) Sanket Medhe (9), Prashant Salawade (5) and Gandharva Chavan (5) have scored 19 of Kolhapur’s 25 goals in the tournament so far!

If the quarterfinals had us on the edge of our seats here’s hoping that the semi-finals would also run on the same theme. The football caravan marches on.