It was a game that they dominated, but in the end it took a header in the first-half of extra-time by Setungchim, to ensure that the prestigious Subroto Cup Boys Under-17 crown came to Nagaland after 42 years. For the record, Pilgrim Higher Secondary School (PHSS), Dimapur, Nagaland, beat Government Model Higher Secondary School (GMHSS), Chandigarh 1-0 to win the 61st Subroto Cup International Football Tournament Boys Under-17 title at the famous Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Stadium in the national capital. The winners received the grand trophy from the Chief Guest, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Chief of Air Staff. Also present on the occasion to inspire and cheer on the finalists was Tokyo Olympics silver medalist wrestler Ravi Dahiya, who was the Guest of Honour.
After the game kicked off at 5pm, the boys from Nagaland played the more enterprising football. Captain Bapen and Thanglenngam combined well on the left flank where most of the attacks were created. Chandigarh had the best chance of the half when tournament top scorer Lemmet tested Nagaland goalkeeper Shotok, who saved well to keep the scores even.
The second half was an even affair with both teams not able to create any clear cut opportunities taking the game to extra time. Nagaland however, looked the more compact and organized in attack throughout the game.
The goal came early in the first half of extra time, when off a Tongtinlen corner, Setungchim, who had scored a hat-trick in the semi-finals, rose highest to deflect a header past Rohit in the Chandigarh goal.
Speaking at the prize distribution, Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Chief of Air Staff, said, “It was heartening to see two fine young teams battle it out so intensely for what is undoubtedly the premiere school football prize in the country. Today’s match once again reiterates that there is no dearth of talent in the country when it comes to football or any other sport. There were no winners today. I congratulate both teams for giving their heart out and playing in a spirit which epitomizes the dream of the founder of this prestigious trophy, Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee. I am sure he would have been a proud man today. I also congratulate all the participating teams and the entire team at Subroto Mukherjee Sports Education Society for making this tournament a grand success, particularly coming back after a two-year hiatus. The Indian Air Force has supported sports and sportsmen and women throughout its existence and we have ambitious plans with the Subroto Cup going forward, now that the tournament is well and truly back on track. Once again, congratulations to the winners, runners-up, their coaches and all those who participated in the successful conduct of the 61st edition of the Subroto Cup.”
Olympic silver medalist wrestler and Guest of Honour Ravi Dahiya also shared his thoughts and emotions saying, “Sport in itself is a great guru for kids. It imbibes discipline and focus at a very young age. These are values which go a long way in the making of a successful human being. Team sports like football, also teach you to work as a team and teach you how every member of a team, just like in a family, is important and needs to be valued and respected. Therefore, I urge the young to take up one sport, any sport, in your life and pursue it. It will not only make you a fitter individual, but also a responsible citizen and a good human being. I congratulate all the winners of today and wish them a bright future ahead.”
A fantastic Air Warriors Drill Teams performance, an eye-catching cultural programme by students of Air Force Bal Bharti School and a daring Para Jump by the Air Devils of the Directorate of Adventure preceded the entry of the teams into the pitch, where they were first introduced to the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honour.
The 61st Subroto Cup edition began on September 06, 2022, with the Boys Under-14 tournament starting off proceedings. After Manipur’s Heirok HS won that category, the girls of St. Patricks, Jumla in Jharkhand took the Girls Under-17 crown on September 27, 2022. In all, a total of 92 schools representing 25 States and Union Territories of India participated in the three (U-14 Boys, U-17 Girls, U-17 Boys) categories including a team from Bangladesh.
The winners received Rs 3, 50,000 while the runners up recieved Rs 2, 00,000. The semi-finalists and Quarter-finalists Rs 1, 50,000 and Rs 1, 00,000 respectively. The Fair play trophy winners received Rs 50,000 while the Best Player and Best School received Rs 40,000 each. The Best Goalkeeper and Best Coach received Rs 25,000 each.
Best Player - Lemmet Tangvah, GMHSS, Chandigarh
Best Goalkeeper - Shotok Nikhuyi, PMHSS, Nagaland
Best Coach - Ankur Khanna, GMHSS, Chandigarh
Best School - Pilgrim HSS, Dimapur, Nagaland
Fair Play Trophy - 10+2 Zila School, Chabasia, Jharkhand