The Subroto Cup Boys Under-17 crown came to Nagaland after 42 years as Pilgrim Higher Secondary School (PHSS), Dimapur beat Government Model Higher Secondary School (GMHSS), Chandigarh 1-0 at the Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.
The boys from Nagaland played enterprising football right from the beginnning. Captain Bapen and Thanglenngam combined together well on the left flank. Chandigarh had a close chance in the first half when tournament top-scorer Lemmet tested Nagaland goalkeeper Shotok, who kept the scores even.
The second half was an even affair with both teams not able to create any clear opportunities, taking the game to extra time. Nagaland however, looked more compact and organised in attack throughout the game.
The goal came early in the first-half of extra-time, when Setungchim, who had scored a hat-trick in the semifinals, deflected a header past Rohit in the Chandigarh goal.
The winner received the trophy from chief guest Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari. Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Ravi Dahiya was also present on the occassion.
“It was heartening to see two fine young teams battle it out so intensely for what is undoubtedly the premiere school football prize in the country. Today’s match once again reiterates that there is no dearth of talent in the country when it comes to football or any other sport. There were no winners today. I congratulate both teams for giving their heart out and playing in a spirit which epitomizes the dream of the founder of this prestigious trophy, Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee,” Chaudhari said.
“Sport in itself is a great guru for kids. It imbibes discipline and focus at a very young age. These are values which go a long way in the making of a successful human being. Team sports like football, also teach you to work as a team and teaches you how every member of a team, just like in a family, is important and needs to be valued and respected. Therefore, I urge the young to take up one sport, any sport, in your life and pursue it. It will not only make you a fitter individual, but also a responsible citizen and a good human being. I congratulate all the winners of today and wish them a bright future ahead,” Dahiya said.
The 61st Subroto Cup began on September 6 with the Boys Under-14 tournament. After Manipur’s Heirok HS won that category, the girls of St. Patricks, Jumla in Jharkhand took the Girls Under-17 crown on September 27. A total of 92 schools representing 25 States and Union Territories participated in the three (U-14 Boys, U-17 Girls, U-17 Boys) categories, including a team from Bangladesh.