MUMBAI, (GNI): Kerala men won their maiden title, while last year’s runners-up Jharkhand won the women’s crown, in the National Inclusion Cup Championship for underprivileged children, a CSR initiative of Sony Pictures Network India, from 13th to 17th February, organised by Slum Soccer, at the Andheri Sports Complex on Friday.
Kerala overcame Telangana 7-3 after dominating the men’s championship round. R. Gunaalan and M. Mukesh scored three goals each and ‘best player’ Vignesh completed the tally for the winners, while striker Aiman Ayaz scored all three goals for Telangana. Tamil Nadu beat Vidarbha in the play-off for third and fourth positions.
Jharkhand also dominated the women’s championship round with a 7-2 win over 2014 winners Madhya Pradesh. Sheetal Toppo fired four goals, Hemanti Kumari scored two and Supriya Menon completed the tally for the winners. Seema Narekar and Nisha Bais scored for MP. West Bengal beat Assam in the play-off for third and fourth positions.
Earlier, Telangana shocked defending champions Tamil Nadu to enter the men’s final, while Madhya Pradesh stunned West Bengal to enter the women’s final.
Telangana edged favourites Tamil Nadu in a 3-2 thriller, via the sudden-death, after the teams were locked 1-1 at half-time and 2-all at full time where Aiman Ayaz fired a brace for the winners, and Bassan Ahamed scored once in each half for TN in regulation time before Jagadeesh frittered away a last-minute penalty. In the shootout, Jagadeesh’s effort was saved by Telangana’s goalkeeper, before Ahtesham Ali fired the winner. Telangana will take on Kerala who halted Vidarbha with a 4-1 win.
Alka Nagwanshi fired a last minute winner to power MP into the women’s championship round following a nail-biting 3-2 win over West Bengal in the semi-finals. Star striker Nisha Bais struck an early brace to give MP a 2-0 cushion in the first half before West Bengal recovered brilliantly in the second half with Ankona Das’s header and Sucharita Dey’s volley. Jharkhand tamed Assam 6-2 in the other semi-final after Sheetal Toppo scored four goals including a hat-trick.
Results: Men: National Inclusion Cup (Final): Kerala 7 () bt Telangana 3 (Aiman Ayaz, hat-trick). Semi-finals: Kerala 4 (M. Mukesh 2, R. Gunaalan 2) bt Vidarbha 1 (Bharat Chandak); Telangana 3 (Aiman Ayaz 2, Ahtesham Ali) bt TN 2 (Bassan Ahamed), via sudden-death. Fair Play: Nepal.
Women: National Inclusion Cup (Final): Jharkhand 7 (Sheetal Toppo 4, Hemanti Kumari 2, Supriya Menon) bt MP 2 (Seema Narekar, Nisha Bais). Semi-finals: MP 3 (Nisha Bais 2, Alka Nagwanshi) bt West Bengal 2 (Ankona Das, Sucharita Dey); Jharkhand 6 (Sheetal Toppo 4 [hat-trick], Ankita Kumari 2) bt Assam 2 (Chandni Tirkey, Sheuli Roy). Fair Play: Tamil Nadu.ends