The most eagerly awaited match of the season, with everything up for grabs, one would expect a very fierce competition especially against a very lively team in CFCI who played an excellent game in the semis. However, that was not the case as the team surprisingly took a defensive approach and looked like they were hoping to take the game into penalties. Team FAST had prepared well and were not deterred by the opponents game plan and began to get their rhythm going making the opponents run from one end to the other over and over again.
Goalkeeper Shivika played a pivotal role in switching the play from one side to the other - she made it look easy. On either side were Alisha from the left and Harshini on the right, who showed their class by knowing when to move forward and when to move back. On top, the attack was lead by the hard working Anuja who would pounce on every lose ball or break up any attack that CFCI tried to string together; her partner Kiara, who was equally hard working and with quick nimble feet made it difficult for CFCI to take any control of the game.
With CFCI's defensive approach and closing down the central path on goal, it looked like scoring a goal would be extremely difficult but Harshini had other ideas. While making the opponents lone forward run from one end to the other by moving the ball around with the help of Shivika and Alisha from the back, Harshini stunned everyone with a sudden long ranger which caught the CFCI goalkeeper napping. Her powerful shot from distance slipped through the keepers hands and into the goal. What a screamer!!
Suddenly CFCI's game plan took a hit early on in the game and their only chance of getting back was to press and attack which worked perfectly for FAST as they continued to move the ball seamlessly around the pitch. Team FAST finished the first half in a strong position but knew it was going to get even tougher in the second.
CFCI started the second half with more purpose and started applying more pressure on Shivika knowing that the switch of play was going through her and with all that pressure, Shivika started to fumble and on one occasion gave the ball away to the opponents forward but was able to recover from close range. The team went into a nervous few minutes and it started to look more likely that they would concede a goal. However, they managed to hold on and continued to play their natural game eventually leading to a superb team move and goal where Kiara neatly tapped in from a pass from Anuja. Score 2-0.
CFCI continued putting the pressure forcing FAST into making silly errors at the back but were unable to capitalize on those errors. FAST stuck to their game plan and were now growing more in confidence despite the constant press from CFCI. The third goal eventually came from Anuja's corner kick where Harshini cleverly placed the ball in the goal. 3-0!!
With few minutes left to go in the game and already with a superior goal lead, one would expect the opponents to throw in the towel and accept defeat but CFCI kept pushing and finally broke the FAST defence from a direct free kick where the team were caught looking confused and weren't quick enough to react. A small lapse in concentration. That goal only proved to be a consolation and the referee blew the final whistle shortly after ending the YPL season where the girls played some really beautiful football!!
An amazing end to a wonderful season for the girls as they have been crowned CHAMPIONS OF MUMBAI and with some style as they have gone the entire season unbeaten.
Goal scorers: Harshini - 2 Kiara - 1
Assists: Anuja - 2 Alisha - 1
Star of the match:- Harshini