The MSSA inter-school football tournament was brought to a standstill as the city experienced heavy rains on Tuesday. The playing conditions deteriorated during the crucial U-14 division I semifinal between St Lawrence, Borivali, and St Pius, Mulund, which had to be called off 10 minutes from time due to water logging on the pitch. The score was locked at 0-0.
The remaining 10 minutes of the game will be played on Friday, 3rd September, and if neither of the teams manages to edge ahead of the other, it will go to tie-break.
The rain dampened not only the pitch but also the spirit of the players. St Lawrence captain Shreyansh Nathwani said, “It was very difficult to control the ball in such conditions, there might have been some goals in the game if it wasn’t raining so heavily.”
“I really enjoy playing no matter what the conditions are and I think that the entire game should be replayed,” added Nathwani.
However, St Pius coach Carlton D’Souza pointed out a bigger concern than the result of the game. He said, “It is unfortunate that the conditions have caused the match to be called off. But what is worse is that we have to travel by train because the school and the homes of the boys are very far away from the venue. If the rain causes the train services to stop then we will be stranded, the officials should have taken this decision earlier.”
The other semifinal, between Don Bosco, Matunga, and Campion, Colaba, was cancelled and rescheduled to Friday.
Don Bosco captain Nathan Fernandes expressed his disappointment at going back without playing the match. “I was nervous about today’s game and wanted to get it over with. We had drawn the game against Campion in the league stages so we knew that they are a tough opponent.” said Fernandes
Don Bosco coach Mohan Pillay saw the merit in the decision to stop play and said, “It is unfortunate that we could not play today but it was a good decision to postpone the matches. These boys cannot play in such conditions and we have a responsibility towards their parents,” he added.
AT THE WHISTLE : Boys U-16 Division four: Group V: Lady Engineer (5) ( K Kohli, P Solanki, B Baria, A Khan, A Malahar) bt BKM (Chowpaty) (0); Group N: Robert Money (1) (G Mandal) drew with HVB Academy (Marine Lines) (1) ( D Fulwala); Group S: St Mary’s (Maz) (2) (F Frnanades 1, A Dhatavkar 1) bt St. Paul (Dadar) (0); Boys U-14 Group Z3: Aditya Birla World (Tardeo) (0) drew with SUP (Waghe) (0)