by Joyce D'mello Fernandes
NAVI MUMBAI, OCT 11, 2017: Don Bosco School, Nerul trumped Ryan International School, Sanpada, 5-3 on penalties to clinch the DSO Under-17 football title in a closely-contested final at Delhi Public School grounds in Nerul on September 29.
Vincent Crispin, Nikhil Bangal, Sohel Tanaji, Bryan Pereira and Umesh Yadav converted their penalties after both teams ended regulation time at 1-1. The crowd gathered witnessed contrasting tactics throughout the match, as both teams played an attacking brand of soccer in the first half. The second half saw both teams defend and push for penalties.
The Don Bosco side shone throughout the tournament, under the guidance of their coaches Rehan Shaikh and Nikhil Aher. They beat North Point, Nerul, in the quarterfinals and SBOA in the semifinals.
"The only thing going on in my mind was that, 'if I fail, the whole team fails and I cannot let that happen'," Nikhil Bangal, the Captain, who saved two penalty shots in the final, said. "Principal Father Donald Fernandez as well as our coaches were confident in our abilities. It is their support and our teamwork that made us win!" Shantanu Vanire, added.