Premier Futsal League: 6 Indian players who have shone in the tournament
Mohammed Islam (Kolkata)
Islam created history when he scored against Goa 5s as the first Indian goal-scorer at Premier Futsal. His goal came in Kolkata 5s opening day 4-2 win over Goa 5s. He showed good combination play and a terrific work rate for a Kolkata side that seemed to embody the concept of working hard for your teammates more than anyone else. His effort was seen throughout the tournament. He showed great composure for a youngster in the semi-finals but unfortunately, he was unable to take Kolkata through.
Mumbai 5s’ defender Chanpreet has taken the opportunity to lead Mumbai’s defense with glee and has been a vital player for his team. His composure at the back has helped the Mumbai team send their international stars forward to attack.
When Chanpreet is on the pitch, notable players like Foglia and Ryan Giggs are comfortable in going forward to join the attack. However, in his absence, either Foglia or Giggs is forced to start an attack from behind.
He has on many occasions contributed to the attack, especially against Chennai when his team were trailing by a goal. He also scored against Kochi 5s to help his team win 6-4. He showed great stamina to track back and defend for his team when Chennai won possession back.
He was brave enough to attempt a shot whenever he was provided with space and has managed to trouble the goalkeepers on many occasions. When Mumbai’s keeper Luis Almado decided to join the attack, Chanpreet stayed back to defend his goal as the last man. He was Mumbai’s most trusted Indian player throughout the tournament and was vital in their victories throughout the tournament.
For Kochi, the standout Indian player has to be Anupam. The youngster caught the eye despite Kochi’s futsal being dominated by the legendary Michel Salgado and his trusted sidekicks in Gelabert and Moraes. Anupam helped the Kochi teams in both defense and attack.
When the team was chasing a goal against Chennai, Anupam found himself as the furthest man on the field and attempted to slot the ball into the goal with a splendid back-heel shot by using the momentum of the pass. When Kochi got their goal, Anupam was solid in defense by always marking a player. It is a testament to his importance throughout the tournament as he featured in both the semifinals and the finals.
His contributions on the pitch were important for a Kochi side that wasn’t blessed with as much flair and style as the other teams in the tournament but rather, depended on discipline and grit.