Shree Muktajeevan Sports Academy (SMSA) based in Shree Swaminarayan Temple Golders Green, hosted the annual 5 aside football tournament at the Jewish Free School in Kingsbury on Sunday the 7th of December.
The tournament was categorised by age whereby children at the age range of 10-16 competed. A total 5 teams participated in one of the most exciting tournaments that our academy has seen!
Come 12 o’clock on a cold December Sunday the JFS Sports Hall was “buzzing”. The draw was taking place and excitement on the younger kids faces as they were being partnered with not only their friends but the senior members of the Swamibapa Football Club. As soon as the draw had been done, arguments, debates and predictions on who the winning team and top goal scorers were going to be, took place right up to the kick off whistle.
As the first match took place between England and France, a flurry of goals determined the outcome of the tie as, Darshan Hirani (arguably the man of the tournament and the top scorer with 10 goals) bagged his first 4 goals in a 6-1 triumph. Mayoor Patel, captain of France, had a lot of work to do if they wanted to do well in the tournament.
Another tough and intense match was the 4 all draw between France and Italy. They battled it out to secure a place in the final. Underdog, Tarun Patel, had managed to score a hatrick along with a long range shot from Mayur Patel for Italy. But, Team France was equal as Mayoor Patel scored 2 along with Pankaj Bhudia and Kaushik Patel also on the scoresheet. With this tie being played, it meant that Italy, due to their points, had reached the final, playing with Kashyap Varsani’s Spain.
It was going to be a thrilling final, and on paper Spain with Italy senior members was predicted to win the tournament.
The kick off for the final took place and the crowd were on their feet cheering on both teams. A quick goal by Sandip Pindoria broke the deadlock early on. It remained 1-0 to Spain up to half-time. Italy had equalised mid-way in the second half by a goal from Keval Tailor. Another goal from Mayur Patel had put his side in front. But only until Rajesh Kuverji had blundered the ball into the back of his own net from a shot by Parash Khimani. As the final game continued the crowed roaring on the teams and a shot by Snehal Khimani went narrowly wide and a few brief words from his brother flared up his temper (no surprise there). In the final minutes Kashyap had thought he won the match for Spain after his shot flew into the bottom corner. But another shot from Keval Tailor meant that the scores were level 3-3, and a penalty shoot-out had to be taken place to determine the champions. The crowd was set, the players were all pumped up, and it was the perfect “Istanbul night”.
The first was taken by Keval Tailor and did not fail as he converted the ball low and hard to the bottom corner. For Spain, Kashyap and Snehal had both scored as did Mayur and Tarun for Italy. The scores were level and up stepped little Sundeep Bhudia, the crowd were chanting his name as he was looking down at the ball. As he kicked it he had wrong footed the Keeper and in went into the bottom corner, the crowd went wild and it brought a tear to his eye as he thought he had won it for his team. Disappointingly Parash Khimani for Spain and Phath Pindoria for Italy had both missed their penalties. This meant that the next penalty would be the decider. Sandip Pindoria “Shevchenko” the taker was up against Rajesh Kuverji “Dudek” the Keeper. The crowd yet again, cheering for both players. As Sandip took the shot Rajesh had read it well and stuck his foot out to save the ball and Italy was crowned champions.
“It was a successful tournament, and what a way to end it in a nail-biting final” said Gopal Patel, Head Coach. The winning medals would be given to Italy and the runners-up to Spain. also the golden boot trophy would presented to Darshan Hirani. This ceremony would take place our annual Open Day 28th December.