Goalkeeper Aarush Doke, 12, played a significant role by making a series of saves in regulation time and two crucial ones in the tie-breaker which helped Don Bosco International School (Matunga) eke out a 3-2 penalty shootout win over a profligate St Paul’s (Dadar) in the semi-final match of the Utpal Shanghvi Cup boys’ U-14 MSSA inter-school football tournament at Cooperage on Monday.
Dived left, right and centre
Aarush showed plenty of courage and agility as he dived on either side and leapt high to take care of the aerial balls and showed good anticipation to rush out and cut off the dangerous threats from the marauding rival strikers. On the other hand, St Paul’s goalkeeper Arnav Rahate had a relaxed time as Don Bosco attackers could only manage a couple of stray raids towards the rival goal.
Since neither managed to score a goal and the match ended in a goalless draw, referee Sohail Manjre enforced the tie-breaker.
In the penalty shootout duel, St Paul converted from the first two kicks through Avighna Madkar and Manthan Walke. But, Gururaj Mane hit the left upright from the third before Aarush brilliantly saved the next two kicks from Avanish Madkar and Rudra Patil which secured Don Bosco’s win and a place in the final.
Don Bosco successfully converted the first three penalties through Rajshivoham Dang, Aaditya Faria and Adam Mascarenhas, while Zerick Menon failed to score from the fourth try, but Aarush saved St Paul’s fifth penalty to clinch the win.
Earlier, fancied Don Bosco High School (Matunga) scored two early goals and went on to defeat arch-rivals St Mary’s ICSE (Mazagoan) 2-0 in the first semi-final.
Captain Peres gets lucky
Don Bosco captain Keegan Peres was lucky to score the first goal as his chip across the goal was misread by St Mary’s goalkeeper Fravash Contractor, who rushed out and ball sailed over and into the goal in the very second minute. Five minutes later, Abhishek Ahiwale did well to head home Sarvesh Balasubramanian’s flag-kick from the left to double the lead.
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