East Bengal – 4 (Scorers: Nabin Hela, Pankaj Moula, Tanmay Kundu, Abinash Rui Das)

Churchill Brothers – 3 (Scorers: Adwin Lucas, Marcus Fernandes, Franky Oliveira)

Despite heavy downpour it was heartening to see close to five thousand spectators thronging the East Bengal grounds as the Red & Golds squared off against Churchill Brothers. The crowd was not to be disappointed as East Bengal and Churchill boys dished up what was easily the most exciting encounter of this year’s U19 I-League. The match got off to an exciting start as Churchill Brothers took a lead through Adwin Lucas who expertly beat East Bengal’s offside trap to put his team 1-0 up after three minutes. It took the home team only one minute to restore parity as Nabin Hela notched his third goal in two games to make it 1-1. Churchill Brothers’ custodian Melroy Fernandez can be partially blamed for this goal as he fumbled with the ball. There were no more goals in first half as both teams cancelled each other out in midfield.

It rained heavily during half time as the ground became slippery which suited the local team wonderfully as they started second half on a brighter note. Churchill Brothers players didn’t have boots with bigger studs which is essential to play in muddy conditions and struggled to cope with East Bengal strikers. Pankaj Moula gave East Bengal a 2-1 lead after 46th minute with a well-placed grounder. Four minutes later Tanmoy Kundu made it 3-1 for East Bengal much to the joy of watching crowd. However, credit must be given to Pankaj Moula for brilliantly dribbling past two defenders and the ‘keeper before unselfishly setting up Kundu for a tap-in. East Bengal defence became a bit complacent after taking the 3-1 lead as Churchill pulled back two goals. Marcos Fernandez scored Churchill Brothers’ second goal while Franky Oliviera made it 3-3 with a brilliant solo run.

From left: Hela, Moula, Kundu, Rui Das

At this point of time both teams were trying to score a winning goal and it was East Bengal who nicked it in the end. Abinash Rui Das scored a spectacular goal which was touted as “miracle” goal by East Bengal coach Tarun Dey. Minutes before the final whistle Rui Das curled in a wonderful left footer from edge of penalty box to beat Churchill ‘keeper Melroy Fernandez.

JCT – 4 (Scorers: Seiminlen Doungel – hattrick, Gur Iqbal Singh)

Mumbai FC – 1 (Scorers: Ashutosh Mehta)

JCT FC’s youngsters continued to do justice to their renowned Academy with another impressive performance by beating Noushad Moosah’s Mumbai FC team. Star of the match was striker Doungel who scored final round’s first hattrick. Gur Iqbal Singh, who had scored against Churchill Brothers scored JCT’s other goal. Ashutosh Mehta scored a goal which could provide little consolation to Moosah’s boys.

JCT coach and former football Jagir Singh was critical about turf conditions of Mohammedan SC Ground after their match. He mentioned that it would have been better if these games were played in Salt Lake Stadium or Mohun Bagan ground.

As it stands both East Bengal and JCT are level on six points and their final encounter against each other will be title decider. JCT is better placed than East Bengal because of their superior goal difference (+5) and will clinch the title if they draw last match. East Bengal has to win and will be boosted by the local crowd. The U-19 I League is heading for a nail biting finish to decide who will succeed Sporting Clube de Goa as U19 Indian champions.

 PlayedWonLostDrawnGoals ScoredGoals ConcededPoints
East Bengal2200636
Churchill Brothers2020360
Mumbai FC2020160

Next Round of  Matches:

East Bengal v JCT Academy (25.06.2011)

Mumbai FC v Churchill Brothers (25.06.2011)