WIFA Inter District: Kolhapur emerge CHAMPIONS!

Team Kolhapur bagged a hat-trick of Inter-District championships organized by the WIFA in three years. However, this year’s title race was special. The triumph happened at their backyard, in front of 12000+ crowds at the iconic Rajarshi Shahu Stadium.

Kolhapur overcame a robust Mumbai outfit in the Semi-Finals. Mumbai had scored 32 goals from 3 matches and conceded only once until they faced Kolhapur. Coming from behind, in a thrilling encounter, Kolhapur got the better of Mumbai.

In the finals, they edged past Nagpur by a solitary goal to create history. A jam-packed Rajarshi Shahu Stadium witnessed 12,000+ supporters act as the 12th man in Kolhapur’s triumph. Dignitaries from the Western India Football Association and notable personalities of the district were present yesterday.

As the match commenced, a sturdy Kolhapur outfit imposed lethal attacks on the opposition defence. Sanket Salonkhe scored the only goal of the match which clinched the title for team Kolhapur. In the 21st minute, Sanket’s towering header disabled Nagpur’s defence and gave them the lead. His goal was the difference between both sides at the end of the first half.

The second half kicked off only to see Nagpur succumb in front of the lethal attacking forces of Kolhapur. There were several instances where Kolhapur came very close to increasing the lead. In fact, a one on one attempt was deflected off the woodwork to restrict Kolhapur from doubling their lead. Eventually, they maintained their momentum and the final whistle by the referee declared Kolhapur as the champions of Maharashtra. With their third win in a row, Kolhapur’s legacy continues as the superpower of Maharashtra football.

Kolhapur was awarded 75,000/- INR and Nagpur received 50000/- from the Kolhapur Sports Association. Sanket Salonkhe was accorded with 11,000/- for netting the winning goal for Kolhapur. Shaikh Sufiyan of Pune District was the highest scorer with 7 goals to his name.

Western India Football Association officials applauded the continued efforts by the Kolhapur Sports Association. Hon. General Secretary Mr Souter Vaz congratulated the Kolhapur team for winning the third title in three years. “I’m very content to see Kolhapur’s success at such a steady pace. They are one of the best footballing districts in Maharashtra” quoted Mr Vaz. Tournament co-ordinator Mr Mohan Nair praised the commitment showed by the organizing committee and congratulated Kolhapur for their historic triumph.

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