While most others were busy preparing for Diwali, college football in Delhi was in full swing as the 3 weeks from Oct 20 to Nov 11 saw the return of college football frenzy with the 3rd Uth league sponsored by KickOff Solutions and organised by Real Sports Association.
The 16 teams selected to participate played 4 group leagues and then fought knock-outs of 8, 4 and 2 teams, with the finals seeing Motilal Nehru College, who were also the finalists of the first Uth league tournament in 2014, emerge as the winners beating the defending champions Jamia Millia Islamia 3-2 in a breathtaking final.
The finals saw Jamia Millia Islamia nearly cut down a three-goal deficit with a resilient charge of two late goals.
Refreshingly, the past three years have seen three different winners with the first year’s winner Zakir Husain College pipping Amity International Noida for third place this year.
The tournament also awarded several prizes to recognise players and colleges that deserve special mention and attention.
The Best Goalkeeper award went to Ayaz Nizami from Jamia Millia Islamia who held his nerve to thwart the best of strikers often in one-on-one situations.
The Best Defender award was won by Ashik who captained Motilal Nehru College through their unbeaten run and marshalled his group with an unbelievably serene calmness.
The Best Midfielder award was given to Mujtaba Zakir from Amity Institute Noida who besides creating brilliant chances for others from the middle also scored in every game for his college.
The Best Forward award was an easy choice with Franco from Motilal Nehru College grabbing it thanks to his remarkable tally of 11 goals in the tournament.
Lastly, the Fairplay Award was given to Shivaji College, who besides their sportsmanship during the game, also played excellent football and proved to be accommodating hosts for a number of matches through the high-intensity tournament.
Ashik, Motilal Nehru College summed up the experience nicely with his comment: “This tournament really helps colleges and college students get great exposure, and we hope it continues to lend opportunities to everyone going forward too.”