Dhaka Metropolis School XI emerged champions in the JFA Cup U-15 football tournament with a 4-2 win over Tangail in the tiebreaker after regulation time ended 1-1 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Jewel Rana put Tangail ahead in the 3rd minute of the match with a spectacular dipping shot from outside the danger zone before Zahid levelled the margin with a side-volley in the 32nd minute. The rest of the regulation time failed to produce a decider as Tangail goalkeeper Akash made two brilliant diving saves in the second half to take the game to the straight shootout.
Dhaka Metropolis School XI, comprising the best players of various schools of Dhaka city, enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but were denied due to some brilliant defending from the Tangail backline. However, Tangail’s valiant efforts were undone in the shootout as two of their shots failed to find the target.
Tangail coach Atiqur Rahman Khan Jamil was satisfied with the performance of his boys but raised questions about the justification of including a team which is nurtured by the BFF coaching staff.
“From the very beginning, the boys feared teams like Dhaka Metropolis School XI and BKSP, but I am happy with the way they played throughout the tournament and reached the final and became runners-up,” said Jamil adding that only the district teams should be given the opportunity in the JFA Cup.
“Dhaka Metropolis School XI were given the opportunity to test their improvement following a request from the BFF School Committee, which has been nursing the team after picking them from the Dhaka Metropolis School Tournament,” said BFF technical director BA Jubair Nipu.
“Our boys were under pressure in the final and could not play well due to the lack of preparation. But in the end, it is a big achievement to become champions,” said BFF coach Jabid Hossain Apu.
Dhaka Metropolis School XI, despite having the upper hand in the game, found it hard to break the backline of Tangail. On the other hand, Tangail gambled with the lineup as they didn’t start with two of their best players — striker Ilias and midfielder Rana — a move which seemingly did not work.
Before the final Ilias was the centre of all attention as he struck eight goals including two hattricks in four matches, but failed to prove his shooting skills after coming off the bench in the 25th minute.
“I don’t know why the coach kept me out of the starting eleven. If I were given the start, I might have played better,” said Ilias, who is dreaming of securing a place in the BFF age-level team after becoming the highest scorer of the tournament.
Abid of Dhaka Metropolis School XI was named the player of the tournament.