FC GOA YOUNG BOYS SHINE IN THE LIFFA U-15 TOURNAMENT
Let’s take a look at FC Goa’s stellar performance at the U-15 tournament organised by the Little Flower Football Academy
The Little Flower Football Academy (LiFFA) recently organized the Under-15 Somatheeram LiFFA Cup 2017 All-India football tournament under the auspices of the Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram at the University Stadium on May 2-7, 2017. Junior teams of the Indian Super League (ISL) clubs FC Goa, Chennaiyin FC, Atletico de Kolkata FC were amongst those that participated in the tournament.
It was the first time that a pan India football tournament was held in Kerala for aspiring footballers under the age of 15. Cleofas Alex, LIFFA head coach, said that the idea behind such a tournament is to give the players a taste of professional football.
FC Goa played its first match of the tournament on May 3 defeating FF Academy 1-0. The lone goal was scored by one of the promising future stars, and team captain, Chadel Fernandes. Maintaining possession through 80% of the match duration was a clear indicator of this young promising team’s prowess. FC Goa failed to double the score despite a powerful right-footed try from Caleb Job D’souza hit the cross bar and bounced back into play. With Rayan and Aaron, the defence looked strong constantly supported by the defensive midfielder, Tristan
In the second league match played on May 4, FC Goa trounced Guzto Koduvalli 2-0. In the first half Devendra scored a goal and was doubled by Valenton in the second half. The team was led by Rayan Menezes as Chadel Fernandes suffered from dehydration which kept him from playing the match.
The winning streak continued for FC Goa as they beat Sec Marthandan Thurai 1-0. Both the teams were levelled until half time. Team Coach Sujitesh Mandrekar’s gentle urging and pep talks managed to get the team in the right spirit, and results showed up as Reuben scored the only goal of the match in the second half. Consequently, FC Goa topped B group and qualified for the quarterfinals.
In the quarterfinals on May 6, FC Goa won 5-2 via tie-breaker against Milan academy. Despite losing 1-0 at half-time, Devendra managed to level the score in the second half. The match outcome was decided through a penalty shootout.
FC Goa’s dream run came to an end in the semi-final, as the young Gaurs were beaten 1-2 by a formidable Chelembra side. Despite being 2 goals down in the first half, FC Goa’s fighting spirit never died out as Valenton reduced the deficit to 1 goal. Unfortunately, the young boys were unable to equalise as they bowed out of the tournament with their heads held high.
It’s hard to believe that a team this good couldn’t win the tournament, but matches are remembered in football not only by results but the play on display, too. FC Goa won over their fans not only with the way they executed the beautiful game, but by also winning the fairplay trophy of the tournament.
The best footballers are always ahead of the game; always know what is going to happen because their instincts are so sharp that it frees their mind to play the match a few moves in advance. That is how the young guns are trained. It is not mere practice that will take this team forward. Rather it is perfect practice that will deliver perfection. What we got is just a glimpse — well, more than a glimpse of that future which looks bright.