AIFF colts canter to Subroto trophy

Pele watched on as the AIFF Academy eased their way to the Subroto Cup title defeating Little Angels Paradise School from Manipur 4-1.

AIFF Academy came from a goal down to win 4-1.   -  PTI

Pele was a spectator at a football match. And he did not mind at all. His feet can't make the opposition dance to his tune anymore, he needs a helping hand to move around, but he can applaud once in a while. Which the legendary Brazilian did as the All India Football Federation (AIFF) team taught Little Angels Paradise School, Wangbal, Manipur a few lessons while winning the Subroto Cup title with a 4-1 victory at the Ambedkar Stadium here on Friday.

“The boys were complacent initially because a national side was playing a school team,” said AIFF coach Floyd Pinto. AIFF stuttered and suffered as the Manipur team packed the midfield and looked to hurt frojm counter attacks. The trend changed after AIFF equalised late in the first session through Baoringdao Bodo, who deftly finished the precise cross from the right by Jayananda Singh, who sprinted menacingly on the flank.

The second half took the wind out of the Manipur boys as AIFF set a scorching pace. The pace was the difference as substitute Rahul Yadav scattered the opposition with his smart movement. He scored with a well placed effort from 25 yards and then Edmund Lalrindika curled the ball into the corner of the net with his left foot. “We made the mistake of playing easy but quickly realised you have to respect the opponent,” confessed Lalrindika.

A penalty in the closing stages, confidently slotted home by Nijwm Muchahary put AIFF's seal on the final. For AIFF team captain Deependra Negi it was a moment to keep for all times he received the Cup from Pele. AIFF proved far superior in the one-sided clash. The boys, winners and losers, would carry home the memories of playing in front of one of the greatest footballers ever.

The score: AIFF 4 ( Baoringdao Bodo, Rahul Yadav, Edmund Lalrindika, Nijwm Muchahary) beat Little Angels Paradise 1 (AK Loyangamba).

Prize winners: SR Kagaly of Little Angels Paradise (Best Player), Floyd Pinto/N. Bijoy Kumar (Best Coach), Debopriya Das of Pune FC (Best Goalkeeper), Bedeshwor Singh of AIFF (Most Promising Player) and Mawsura RC Upper Primary School, Nongstoin, Mghalaya (Fair Play Trophy).

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