The 30th of January marked a special day for SRCC’s football team, as the boys in red proved to be just too good for Sri Venkateswara College, recording a comfortable win of 3-1 in the finals of the 7th Akshay Chhibber Memorial Soccer Tournament. The venue, St. Stephen’s football ground saw a largely SRCC dominated crowd, with a considerable number of people showing up for the clash between the two sides.
The match, while being heavily cheered on by enthusiastic supporters off the field, did not seem to correspond on the field, as the game in the opening stages turned out to be rather dull and uninspiring. However, SRCC soon found their feet as displays of some promising link-up play, intricate one-two-one passing, and several decent attempts on goal saw them take a deserved lead from a corner as the game approached the half-hour mark. The goal came from SRCC’s centre-back Deepak, who took advantage of a misguided clearance by a late-reacting Venky defence, scoring from within 6 yards of goal. That goal saw a marked increase in the tempo of the game, with a positive response from Sri Venkateswara College as they made a more attack-minded approach to the game. Despite some solid defending by the north campus college, an alleged push on a Venkateswara striker saw the team concede from a penalty spot in the few remaining minutes of first half.
The second half witnessed another bright start for the boys from SRCC. They managed to score again, this time through their skipper, Digvijay Bahadur Singh, who scored a goal from a corner kick, with the ball dipping and curving directly in the back of the net. Arguably, the most crucial point in the game came when Deepak from Sri Venkateswara College scuffed a shot wide from a distance of 12-some-yards. It was this relatively more clinical and lethal SRCC side which finally managed to seal the game with another goal from a cross, effortlessly met by Tsheygal on the receiver’s end. The game took a more rash and abrasive turn just in the dying minutes, as a fight erupted between the two set of players leading to two red cards being shown-one from each team. A match with its share of goals as well as drama, it proved to be an entertaining watch for the supporters as well as the neutrals.
The Chief Guest for the final match, Dr. Ajay Chhibber congratulated the winning team and presented them with the winning trophy along with a cash reward of Rs. 28,000. Talking about increasing the magnitude of this tournament, he revealed plans of integrating a total of 16 teams in the tournament in the years to follow. The captain of the winning team, Digvijay Singh, while talking about his team’s performance, applauded his side’s ‘Never-Say-Die’ attitude and also reflected on their team’s ‘winning mentality’ as being vital to their team success.
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