Reliance Foundation Youth Sports Goa Finals – A preview




As the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports football tournament approaches a gripping culmination, so has the football frenzy in the state of Goa. After a gruelling series of over 220 matches featuring close to 200 teams, Goa is set to host the finals in Senior boys, Senior girls, Junior boys and College boys categories on Saturday, November 19. The excitement among the participants as well as the football fans of Goa is palpable in anticipation of an action-packed day promising to add to the tally of approximately 700 goals scored at the Duler Stadium in Mapusa so far in the tournament.

Reliance Foundation Youth Sports - Rosary Higher Secondary School

Reliance Foundation Youth Sports – Rosary Higher Secondary School

All the eight finalist teams will wake up with one aim – to win the final and qualify for the RFYS Nationals to be played in Mumbai where they will compete against the winners from seven other cities for the grand silverware.

Here is a lowdown on the finalists and prospective battles to watch out for.

Senior girls: Carmel Higher Secondary School vs Rosary Higher Secondary School

Both these teams have marched into the finals on the back of some brilliant individual performances throughout the tournament. It is no coincidence that the two front runners for the golden boot in this category hail from these teams – Agiema Borges from Carmel is leading the way with eight goals while Akshita Patil from Rosary is a close second with seven.

As teams, both have proved to be greater than the sum of their parts, dominating the league stage with élan. Carmel HSS have played four matches so far, emerging victorious in three and their only loss has come against their opponents in the final, Rosary HSS.

Rosary HSS have maintained an impeccable record through to the final, winning all their matches comfortably. Their win against Carmel HSS was a close 1-0, which makes this tie a mouth-watering prospect.

While the Rosary High girls will enjoy the advantages that come with playing at home, their opponents have proved that they are a force to reckon with.

Senior boys: Government Higher Secondary School vs St. Alex Higher Secondary School

In a local clash, leaders of their respective groups, Govt. HSS and St. Alex HSS will fight for supremacy in the Senior Boys category one final time. With victories in all six games, Govt. HSS are a shade ahead of their opponents in terms of form, who have won four and conceded one game by a margin of 0-1.

Given that they have conceded just one goal leading up to the final, it is fair to say that Govt. HSS’s biggest strength is their defence – a point St. Alex HSS will do well to keep in mind ahead of the big clash.

The player to watch out for in the Govt. HSS camp is Kunal Salgaonkar, who is leading the charts in the category with eight goals and 14 MC points. Salgaonkar has been well supported by his teammates, Omkar Naik and Akash Sawadi, who have contributed with four and two goals respectively. For St. Alex HSS, the major contribution has come from Elson Cardozo, who has hit the goal five times.

Given the standard of consistency and form of the two teams, it is fair to say that St. Alex boys will have to punch above their weight on the day in order to overcome one of the strongest teams in the tournament.

Junior boys: Marina English High School vs Our Lady of Perpetual Succour High School

The contest between Marina English HS and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour HS promises to be a battle of grit and discipline. Marina English HS have displayed tenacity in the face of a challenge, as apparent in the number of close matches they have managed to pull off. Yet to taste a defeat, they have taken three matches by a margin of two goals and nicked the other three by a solitary goal. Marina English HS’s top goal-scorer is Royston Braganza with four hits in the net.

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour HS have emerged victorious on five occasions, drawn one game and finished on the wrong side of the result once. Their biggest victory margin of nine goals should be motivation enough for Marina English HS to tighten their defensive game. Hayden Pinto, with three goals, is a player to watch out for in this team.

College boys: Rosary College of Commerce and Arts vs SS Dempo College

The final encounter in the College boys category has a hint of David vs Goliath about it. While Rosary College have knocked off all their opponents on their road to the final, SS Dempo are relatively uncooked with only three games under their belt (two wins and a draw). If they can turn this lack of exposure into a surprise factor, SS Dempo could well give their formidable opponents a run for their money.

The biggest weapon in the armoury of Rosary College is Aaren D’Silva, who leads the golden boot chart in this category with nine goals to his credit.

All four finals will be streamed live on www.rfyouthsports.com

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