Corbett FC fire last-minute winner to emerge champions
07 Jul 2024

Corbett FC 3 (Lalbiakzuala 9’, PC Lalruatsanga 37’, 50’)
Golazo FC 2 (Stephen Satarkar 13’, Jayesh Sutar 37’)

Soumo Ghosh
AIFF Media Team

VADODARA: Corbett FC were crowned champions of the AIFF Futsal Club Championship 2024, after they beat Golazo FC 3-2 at the Swarnim Gujarat Sports University, in the Vadodara district of Gujarat, on Sunday, July 7, 2024.

It was a fitting finale worthy of its name as the fortunes swung from one end to the other. Corbett FC took the lead twice only to find Golazo FC coming back to restore parity on both occasions. The match went into extra time.  

However, with just 58 seconds left for the buzzer, the tournament’s top scorer PC Lalruatsanga scored his 17th and perhaps the most important goal of the meet to snatch the trophy for the Uttarakhand club.

Lalbiakzuala (9’) and PC Lalruatsanga (37’, 50’) were the two scorers for Corbett FC, while Stephen Satarkar (13’) and Jayesh Sutar (37’) netted one each for Golazo FC, who come from Himachal Pradesh.

It was a cautious start, as neither team wanted to show their hand in the initial exchanges. Golazo FC settled into the game a bit earlier, as they began to dominate possession in the Corbett half.

Though they struggled initially, Corbett were well within their comfort zone, as they sat back and looked to hit on the break, Malsawmtluanga Pautu being the focal point of their attacks.

Corbett took the lead against the run of play, as Pratik Swami ran on to a through ball by Pautu and sent in a low cross. Lalbiakzuala rushed onto the low centre and produced a sliding effort at the near post, to put Corbett into the lead.

As the match crossed the halfway mark in the first half, Lalbiakzuala nearly returned the favour in almost a similar fashion, when he sent in a low ball from the left, but Swami, rushing in at the far post, missed it by inches.

Golazo levelled the scores with just seven minutes left in the first half. Satarkar jinked past two Corbett defenders, before slipping it accurately between the other two, as the ball crept in at the far post. Corbett goalkeeper Lakhpa Dorjee Bhutia had no time to react to that effort.

It seemed both sides were keen to play the waiting game, as the two coaches called for their respective time-outs as the half-time hooter crept near. The teams went to the dressing rooms with the match tied at 1-1.

Golazo changed things up slightly in the second half, employing a mid-block. While that did allow Corbett to construct their attacks, especially down the right, Golazo managed to keep their defensive lines in proper position to make sure that the former did not pose any real threat.

Around eight minutes into the first half, Aaron Dcosta hit the woodwork for Corbett. Just three minutes later, Satarkar did the same for Golazo as his effort from outside the area took a deflection and hit the upright.

The drama in this summit clash was long overdue, but it arrived with a little over three minutes left on the clock. Dcosta lined up a shot from long range and blasted it at the Golazo far post, as Lalruatsanga chested it in from point-blank range.

Golazo, realising the paucity of time on their hands, went on an all-out attack, throwing on Sutar as a flying goalkeeper, and it worked instantly. Shabaz Rogangar sent in a precise low ball to the far post, as Sutar slipped in behind his marker to prod it in.

The two having cancelled each other out, the match went into extra time – two halves of five minutes each.

Golazo showed a lot of initiative, especially on their attacks, as Sutar would replace goalkeeper Scott Moraes, while the latter would replace the former, the moment they lost the ball. While that did give Golazo a numerical advantage on their attacks, they were a bit more cautious with their goal unguarded.

However, it was Corbett who dug deep with just 58 seconds of extra time left, to take the lead for one last time, the one goal that made them champions. Dcosta was the provider yet again, as he drilled a low ball into the far post, where Lalruatsanga poked it in from close range.

Swarnim Gujarat Sports University Vice Chancellor Dr. Arjunsinh Rana presented the trophy to champions Corbett FC. AIFF Acting Secretary General Mr. M. Satyanarayan, AIFF Executive Committee Member Mr. Vijay Bali, Gujarat State Football Association Honorary Secretary Mr. Mulrajsinh Chudasama, GSFA Executive Member Mr. Rajdeepsinh Jadeja, and Swarnim Gujarat Sports University Registrar Mr. Yogeshbhai Joshi were present at the prize distribution ceremony.

Individual and team awards:

Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Ozen Vivian Silva, Ambelim SC

Top Scorer of the Tournament: PC Lalruatsanga, Corbett FC

Best Player of the Tournament: Lalsangkima, Golazo FC

Fair Play Award: Baroda FA

Runner-ups: Golazo FC (Rs 2,00,000)

Champions: Corbett FC (Rs 3,00,000)

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