16 October 2016 | The final whistle was accompanied with excited cheer and hooting at JNU campus stadium when the tournament favourites ‘Katherans n Pokerans’ led by Noushad claimed the winner’s title. The only goal scored in the match by Ali in first half steered the team to clinch the title against ‘Mahabali Brothers’ led by Haneefa. Unfortunately, MB missed two penalties that could have changed the fate of the team.
KnP team executed their strategy well on the field to keep the opponents under pressure who were seen missing a lot of passes. The winning goal came from a combined effort from the duo Noushad and Ali: a powerful shot that passed through the goalkeeper’s legs.
In the ‘loser’s match,’ ‘Asurappada’ won it for 4-0 against ‘Vallam Kali boys’ and kept their heads high. Philip, the star striker of the team scored 3 goals while the captain Murfad scored 1.
The tournament was organised by ‘Onam Committee 2016’ in which four teams were given a chance to showcase their football skills. The first two matches at the knockout stage were held at the JNU stadium on Saturday at 8:00 AM. The teams that lost in the first stage faced each other in the ‘loser’s final’ on Sunday morning just before the final match.
In the initial knock-out rounds, ‘Katherans n Pokerans’ team defeated ‘Vallam Kali Boys’ in shootout for 2-0 after both teams failed to score during the scheduled time. ‘Vallam Kali Boys’ won the hearts exhibiting an extraordinary performance while resisting KnP’s continuous attempts to score. The team led by veteran Akhilesh failed KnP’s every major attempt at pass but the absence of a striker meant they could not convert the advantage into a win.
In the second match, Mahabali Brothers defeated Asurappada led by Murfad for 1-0; a result of the goal scored by Arshad in a quick move in the first half. Asurappada could not come out of the pressure of conceding a goal though to be honest it did get plenty of golden chances. Asurappada missed the finishing touch and MB’s goalkeeper’s sprightly legs at the post denied them a victory.
One could sense the high spirits, thrill and excitement of the sport among the players and organizers in the sombre early October mornings at the stadium. Sports convenor Nitheesh thanked everyone for making the event a success. On the final day, JNUSU vice president Amal PP also turned up to cheer the teams.
The winning team received a cash prize of 1001, runners up 501 and losers 201. The prizes will be awarded in a ceremony during the Onam celebration on 22nd.
Iqbal Vavad works in the News Pool of The Informer. Photos by Sunaina who works with the photography pool of The Informer and Haneefa, a freelance photographer.