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NYC 2002

NYC win classic final
Kuwait Feb 5, 2003: In a sensational footballing display and a memorable finale to the XIth Navelim Youth Centre Rolling Trophy played on Sour Grounds, KIFF League champions and hosts Navelim Youth Centre (NYC) came from behind after trailing (1-3) at one stage to beat Goan Overseas Association (GOA) Maroons 4-3. Striker Cruzedio Rodrigues spearheaded the NYC comeback with a hat-trick and was rightly adjudged the man of the match.
The match began at a cracking pace with both sides showing plenty of enterprise on a cold Friday morning watched by a large number of soccer enthusiasts. Despite the hectic speed there was plenty of good football on display with both teams moving the ball forward with alacrity. Maroons shot ahead in the eighth minute taking advantage of a miss-hit goal kick by Navelim goalkeeper Britto Pereira who ironically had a nightmarish final. Edward tapped the ball to unmarked Brendon Lobo who booted home from close range, rocking the goalkeeper and a transfixed NYC defense.
Cheered by their euphoric fans Maroons peppered the Navelim goal with a flurry of scoring opportunities with tries from Reggi Rodrigues, Victor Andrade, Christi and Teddy Pinto. But the hosts quickly recovered and Cruzedio equalized finishing off a snap pass by Ricoh Rebello (1-1). The relentless pace of the match continued after the break with Maroons pushing forward at every available opportunity while NYC, who were playing a more measured game with Duarte Ferrao, Gasper Crasto and Americo Fernandes in control of the midfield, seemed happy to soak up the waves of attack while looking to break forward at every vacant opening. Maroons again went ahead (2-1) seven minutes into the second half courtesy goalkeeper Brittos gift. A harmless ball was looped by Maroons Cookie towards the goal but the goalkeeper, instead of punching clear, allowed the ball to slip in through his hands into the net. And five minutes later, hopes of Navelim supporters were turned to despair when Britto blundered again failing to get back in time only to see a 30 yard long range effort by Cookie sail over him in the empty net. The blunder notwithstanding, NYC strove hard to come back into the game. Raising their game a notch or two, NYC fought back through striker Cruzedio in the 25th minute to make it (3-2), before restoring parity through the hard working player for his hat-trick. The sprightly Cruzedio outpaced Maroons defenders Carlos DSa and Ian DSouza, splendidly feigned his shadow marker Jerry DMello before placing perfectly past Maroons 'keeper Julio Cardozo who had little to save on target during the game.
The match winner came from a combined move of Duarte and Gasper allowing Americo to pick up an excellent pass from Ignatius Miranda to beat Julio with a volley that steered the ball wide of the goalkeeper and high into the net. Maroons came up with all out efforts in the dying minutes of the match which forced Britto to make a splendid save off Brendon Lobo. NYC kept the lead till the final whistle by gathering in defense where Vincy Pereira was outstanding and ably supported by Salvador DSouza, Natolino Pires and Benjamin Rodrigues.
GOA Maroons President Mr. Raymond DSa (Nagoa-Bardez) was all praise for the Navelim fight-back. He remarked, This is undoubtedly one of the best final in the soccer history of Sour Grounds and would be remembered by those who witnessed it for a long time. The tournament played under the banner of Kuwait India Football Federation (KIFF) was officiated by KIFF referees.
Brig. Adel Al Kherbit (Interior Ministry of Capital Governorate) was the chief guest on the occasion and gave away the prizes. He appreciated the great enthusiasm shown by the Indian community in organizing such sporting events and assured his utmost support in future. Stanley Sylvester Pinto, Managing Director of Sami Exhibition Works & Spares was the guest of honour. President of NYC, Agnello A.S. Fernandes welcomed the guests and later proposed a vote of thanks. The high-status Fair Play was awarded to Kerala Challengers. Gen. Secretary of the club, Mario Carneiro compered the function.
courtesy: Gulf Goans e-newsletters (Goa World)
(Photo: Simon Dias)