Subroto Cup: Atlético Paranaense boys take glittering Subroto U-17 trophy home
The curtains came down on the 57th edition of the Subroto Cup International Football Tournament came down when Club Atlético Paranaense deservingly lifted the Junior Boys (U-17) trophy after beating Army Boys, Bengaluru, 1-0 in the final at the Dr. Ambedkar Stadium here today.
Bruno struck the goal four minutes into the match and the Brazilians defended it for the next 66 minutes to take the trophy home. Chief guest Air Marshal M.K. Malik, who is also the vice-chairman of the Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society, presented the trophy to the winners.
The Army Boys will return with the satisfaction of contesting well against a ‘professional’ side and the Bengaluru boys should hold their heads up high after their defeat. Some of the boys can still make it to the next edition and have another shot at the title.
Cheered by former Brazilian midfielder Rivaldo, who was the guest of honour at the final, the teams were keen to do well in front of the legend. Perhaps, the occasion of the final got to the lads from Brazil as one failed to notice the wholesome Brazilian flair from Atletico. On the other hand, the Army Boys had their opponents’ reputation in mind and clogged their all-out attack.
Tricky and calculated
The side from Brazil were not only tricky but also calculative and made cautious moves with heavy man-to-man marking of their opponents. This restricted the Army Boys’ movement and lost ball possession more often than not. They found the going increasingly tough to find the target.
This was the kind of situation the boys from abroad were waiting for and pressed home the advantage to find their first goal when Bruno cut past a few Army Boys defenders crowding the box and slotted in the goal within four minutes of the start.
Indeed, the Bengaluru boys tried hard to equalise, but they were stoutly thwarted by the four men wall. Even after the change of ends, their fortunes didn’t change and the Army Boys will carry some bittersweet memories of the tournament. For them, it was so near and yet so far.
The match saw just one booking as defender Alex’s foul warranted a yellow card.
Several guests from the All India Football Federation, Delhi Dynamos and the Sports Authority of India graced the occasion and cheered the players.
Fair play award
The Government School boys from Mizoram got the fair play award while Marcos from Atletico was adjudged the best coach. Another award went the way of the visitors when S. Kennedy was voted as the best player, while Dip Majumdar of Army Boys received the most promising player award.
A panel of members also decided on the boys and girls that will receive scholarships.
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