By Mihik Agrawal
Kumaon concluded their season with a win over Shivalik in an entertaining third-place decider. Although the match was not well attended, it was an important one for both teams to add vital points to their GC tally. Kumaon were determined to put on a good performance
after their narrow defeat to Jwala in the semi-final, and that was evident right from the kick-off. Their attacking quartet of Ashim, Kanishk, Ankit and Marcus, who had been the most consistent of all teams throughout the tournament; caused a lot of problems for Shiva’s defence. Rapid counter-attacks were only stopped by the tall figure of Prateek in the Shiva goal, who made some brilliant reflex saves. Ashim yet again showed his quality when in the 15th minute, he curled in a free kick from the half way line to accurately find the head of Ankit, whose header was weak. Kumaon was attacking to the extent that even Shiva’s star striker “Shakuni” had to track back and make vital interceptions. But just on the stroke of half time, Kanishk tried to skip past a defender on the edge of the box, and took a shot which came of the latter’s hand, resulting in a penalty. Ankit calmly converted as the half ended.
Kumaon were not done yet and continued with the same tempo. A poor pass in the 39th by the Shiva defence gifted the ball to Marcus, whose resulting shot was just wide of the post. After that a number of good chances were created by Kumaon, but Harsh Sarda proved quite wasteful in converting them and killing the game. The Shivalik attack was muted and their small contingent of fans were frustrated. The game soon ended; Kumaon with 5 GC tally points in the bag, while Shiva settling with 4.