Thursday, July 17, 2014

Team AVM make their mark in the 2014 Subroto Cup Football Tournament

The recently concluded FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil captured the imagination of the whole world. Football is one such sport which unites the world with its appeal to all kinds of people. The excitement, skill level and joyous atmosphere at the world cup was for everyone to see and perhaps that is the reason why it is the undisputed number one sport in the world.

Football fever at AVM reached its peak as the students prepared for district level football competition Subroto Cup. Since the re-opening of the school from June, students were working for this tournament under the guidance of Dhiren Sir and Tejas Sir. AVM’s inter school sports calendar usually kicks off with this tournament every year hence the excitement was obvious.

Like every year, the school decided to compete in this tournament at U-14 and U-17 level. The U-14 tournament was held at Ladvi on 14th July while the seniors of U-17 competed on 15th July in Zankhvav near Netrang.

U-14 Subroto Cup report:
It was the first occasion that students of grade 7 and 8 were participating in a football competition outside the school. After a good preparation, coach Dhiren Sir and manager Ritesh Sir took the boys to the tournament. As many as 13 teams participated from Surat rural area in this tournament. The competition was tough. AVM got 1 of 3 byes in the first round and directly played in the quarter finals, in which they met Ryan International School for the place in semi-finals.

Kevinbhai Chauhan opened the scoring for AVM and calm the early nerves. Then the school captain, Karanbhai Desai took the centre stage by scoring 2 more goals and secured AVM’s place in the semi-final. In the semi-final the team met the reigning champions Essar International School. The boys put up a fight but the champions were too good and won the match very convincingly with a flattering score line of 7-0. The nature of the tournament meant the students of AVM bow out from this year’s Subroto Cup but not without making their mark and learning valuable experience for the future. School captain Karanbhai was really one of the outstanding players not only for the school team but also of the tournament.

U-17 Subroto Cup report:
The senior football team took part in the Subroto Cup next day near Netrang, a 45 minutes ride from the school. As the team arrived at the venue, they were greeted by some monsoon rain and cloudy atmosphere. But a seemingly difficult weather did not affect the mood and enthusiasm of the team which was led by the coach Tejas Sir and manager Ritesh Sir.

The enthusiasm of all school teams was overwhelming as 16 teams came to participate in the tournament which was unheard of in the recent past. As the weather got clearer the organisers got on with the tournament. AVM boys faced Varad High Sschool in the opening round. The school team was led by Deepbhai Chamariya (11 Commerce class) and looked extremely comfortable in the opening minutes. The forward line form AVM kept pressing on and in no time the flood gates were opened as Dharmitbhai opened the scoring on 4th minute. That was followed up by school head boy Arpitbhai scoring 2 quick fire goals on 6th and 9th minute. Ayushbhai Verma from class 9 capped a very good first half by scoring in the dying minutes to take the score line 4-0 at the end of first half. Even though the team wanted to conserve the energy and did not press as much as they did in the first half, Arpitbhai completed his hat-trick by scoring the 5th goal for the team. The moment of the match came when the second half substitute and the member of U-14 team Karanbhai made his debut on a senior level by scoring a very confident goal in the last few minutes to make the score line 6-0 in favour of AVM.

In the quarter final AVM had slightly tougher opposition in Sincerite School from Bardoli who had already beaten a more recognised team in their opening round. AVM had better of the possession of play in the opening minutes and had many shots on target but the opposition stuck to their task and denied a goal. But the dead lock was broken by AVM’s no. 10 Manhilbhai in the 7th minute from an open play. Dharmitbhai on the right flank and Ayushbhai on the left flank were a constant threat to the opposition as they kept crossing the ball in the good areas for the team. The first half concluded with a score of 1-0 which did not justify the amount of possession AVM had. In the second half Karanbhai replaced Ayushbhai to conserve his energy who tirelessly played on the left flank and was one of the brightest players on the pitch. The substitution and the constant pressure paid off as Karanbhai scored a wonderful headed goal from a cross on the right wing. The match ended with a score line of 2-0 and AVM reached the semi-final.

AVM met the reigning champions and tournament favourites: Essar International in a mouth-watering clash. Both the teams so far steam rolled into the semis and had the majority of the possession in those matches. Looking at their team and their attacking threat, the AVM team changed its formation from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1. In the clash of titans, boys from AVM started brightly and caught the favourites off guard. A changed formation saw Deepbhai and Dakshbhai (9 A) controlling the game in the centre of the park. The tireless work of forwards meant AVM had better possession. Such was the intensity from both the sides that the locals who gathered for the match were having some exciting times. AVM’s goal keeper Abhishekbhai Mandaviya (11 Commerce) who did not even touch the ball in the first two matches was called upon and he made some breath taking saves to keep the opposition at bay. The first half ended 0-0 but everyone at the venue knew that they had a very exciting match on their hands. In the second half both the teams stepped up but AVM was still having the better of the ball possession and distributed the ball very well on the flanks. The second half substitute Ayushbhai on the left and Dharmitbhai on the right were playing really well in a really engaging encounter. And then the moment of joy and despair came in the dying minutes of the second half as AVM boys scored a goal only to be disallowed as the referee ruled it offside. The match ended 0-0 and the penalties beckoned.

To the credit to the defence and organisation of the team, AVM team did not concede a goal in the normal time so far. Penalties often bring uncertainties and test the nerves of the biggest of the players especially at the semi-final stage. AVM started with a penalty as they scored theirs. But the goal keeper Abhishekbhai was in top form and saved 3 more of the penalties from the opposition to give team AVM chance to seal the spot in the finals. But unfortunately the occasion got the better of the players as we faltered at the penultimate stage of the tournament by going out on penalties.

Even though we lost in the semi-finals, the boys made the school and their coaches proud with a spirited and scintillating performance. In the end even with the narrowest of the margins the better team won who eventually retained their title in the final.

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