The last day of the Parikrma Champions League had finally arrived after 5 days of fierce competition. Of the 16 teams that started the competition, there remained only two standing, Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peetha (VVMVP) and St. Clara’s from Goa. However before the two finalists could face off against each other, the matches for placements from 8th place to 3rd place were played.
Inventure Academy bested Bishop Cotton’s Boy’s school to capture 7th place. The Indus International School played and beat Parikrma for 5th place and Farooq High School from Kerala captured fourth place, losing narrowly to Father Agnel’s from Kerala, who won 3rd place in a sudden death shootout, 6-7. After the 3rd and 4th places had been decided, it was time for a PCL tradition, the CEO match.
This was a match where CEOs or senior employees of companies that supported Parikrma, played against a select team that contained the best players of the tournament. The CEOs were led by Giles Wilson of Menzies Aviation and unfortunately lost 2-0.
The excitement of the day was palpable, the atmosphere was electric and the audience were really enjoying themselves, both watching the matches but also as they watched the various dance performances between matches and at halftime that the students of Parikrma put on.
Finally, it was time for the final. The two teams walked out, St. Clara’s in green and VVMVP in red. The two teams were very well matched and seemed to counter each other almost without any trouble. Although there were some close calls, the first half was relatively uneventful. The second half had a little more action but again no goals. The teams went into extra time with no goals on the board.
The audience seemed to be gearing up for another penalty shootout to decide the match but VVMVP had other ideas and when there was a little under two minutes left in the match, VVMVP managed to put the ball past the goalkeeper from St. Clara’s. After that, it was just a waiting game until the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the match and the tournament. VVMVP emerged champions, which was impressive considering that this was their first PCL tournament ever.
After the final, the 36th match, of the PCL ended, it was time for the closing ceremony and the distribution of the prizes to begin. Guests of honour were the CEOs from the match who were joined by the Karnataka Minster for Agriculture, Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda, the coach of Bengaluru FC Mr. Ashley Westwood, Nanjangud Shivananju Manju, defender for Bengaluru FC, and the secretary of the Bangalore Football Association.
The ceremony began with Mrs. Shukla Bose talking about the importance of sports and encouraging the chief guests to consider holding football camps for school children. She was followed by Giles Wilson who thanked everyone who had been instrumental in making the tournament the success that it had been. Finally the Minister spoke on the importance of football in the country and also encouraged all the players to keep doing what they were doing and to never give up.
The prize distribution began with individual prizes for the best coach, which went to the coach of the Parikrma team, the best goalkeeper which was won by Ramhamare from VVMVP, the best midfielder was Shahood from Farooq High School and the best defender was Ribhalang Khonglam from VVMVP. The golden boot for the most goals with a grand total of 9 goals was Ajmal from Farooq High School and finally, the player of the tournament award was presented to Lyodd Cardozo from Father Agnel’s.
After the individual awards, the Parikrma spirit award for the most-sportsmanlike and fair team was given to the team from Parikrma. The last two awards of the day were the runners-up trophy and the winner’s trophy. St. Clara’s took home the runners-up trophy while Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peetha took home the Equality cup in their first ever Parikrma Champions League.
The handing out and subsequent celebration of the Equality cup marked the end of the very successful 4th edition of the annual Parikrma Champions League Football Tournament.