Puna Mahato Memorial Tournament: UBI makes a spirited journey to the Runners-Up spot

Puna Mahato Memorial Invitation Football Tournament 2023

In a thrilling display of talent, teamwork, and determination, Mumbai’s UBI football team has secured the prestigious Runners-Up trophy in the Puna Mahato Memorial Invitation Football Tournament 2023 held in Dhanbad, Jharkhand.

This remarkable achievement marks their second consecutive year as Runners-Up, showcasing the team’s unwavering commitment to excellence on the football field. The Union Bank of India’s football team comprised several players who were part of last year’s squad, where they clinched the 4th position in the MFA Elite Division League among 13 participating teams.

Over the past two decades, Union Bank has served as a nurturing platform for numerous players who have gone on to represent the nation, their respective states, and even found their footing in prestigious leagues such as the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League. Many have also pursued careers in various institutions, contributing their skills and knowledge to the world of Indian football.

The Puna Mahato Memorial Invitation Football Tournament 2023 witnessed participation from 16 teams hailing from different corners of India. Union Bank of India’s journey to the finals was nothing short of inspiring.

In the quarter-finals, they faced off against DSA Kolkata, emerging victorious with a scoreline of 2-1. The semi-finals proved to be another testing ground as they clashed with Asansol Rail, securing a hard-fought 2-1 win to book their spot in the grand finale.

The finals, held against SERSA Jamshedpur, were the pinnacle of excitement and competition. With approximately 10,000 enthusiastic spectators in attendance, Union Bank was the crowd favorite, carrying the weight of high expectations. However, their opponents, the experienced Railway players, displayed remarkable maturity and confidence. Within the first 10 minutes, they capitalized on a defensive lapse from Union Bank, resulting in an unmarked right winger nodding the ball into the net, leaving Union Bank’s goalkeeper helpless.

Undeterred, Union Bank adhered to their game plan, demonstrating patience and waiting for opportunities to execute quick transitions. The midfield, bolstered by players like Om, Tyson, Brendan, and Lalith, showcased precise and rapid passing, often directing the ball to Behra and Elvin on the flanks.

Union Bank’s defense maintained a tight formation, effectively neutralizing the opponent’s strikers and preventing further goals. Despite their best efforts to find the equalizer, Union Bank’s attack couldn’t convert their chances into goals.

The dramatic moment arrived in the dying minutes of the match when Nigel, the right-wing back for Union Bank, floated a dangerous ball into the 6-yard box. It was deflected into the net by Pandey, sparking jubilation among Union Bank’s players and supporters. The goalkeeper’s valiant attempt to save the shot only saw the ball brushing his fingers before hitting the post and finding its way into the goal.

With the match ending in a 1-1 draw, the tension mounted as the tiebreaker commenced. However, it was SERSA who emerged victorious, clinching the title with a 4-1 scoreline in the penalty shootout.

Amidst this exhilarating journey, several players from Union Bank of India football team stood out. Mr. Rishikesh Pandey was adjudged the Man of the Match for his standout performance. Mr. Om Arane earned recognition as the Best Midfielder, while Mr. Pawan was celebrated as the Best Defender. Additionally, Mr. Tyson Patel was deservedly awarded the title of Player of the Tournament, highlighting his remarkable contributions to the team’s success.

Union Bank of India’s football team has once again demonstrated their mettle and commitment on the football field, leaving an indelible mark in the game.

Also Read: Discover the Transformative Power of the IKF Workshop: Real Stories, Real Success

Also Read: Punjab FC add four Indian players to their roster

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