Ahmedabad: Third and last round of zonal (Ahmedabad) group for Hero U18 Youth League 2018-19 was played on Friday 30th November at Kasa Ground in Vastrapur. Kahaani FC and FLA Sri Ma were fighting for the top spot in the group to qualify for the Playoffs round of the league. First match was played between Kahaani FC and Fateh Hyderabad AFC which ended in a draw. While FLA Sri Ma was looking for a victory against ARA FC in the later match. But FLA lost against ARA by 1-4.
In the first match, while Hyderabad were already out of the qualifying race, Kahaani just needed a draw to confirm their spot in the playoffs. However, Kahaani boys started attacking from the beginning and so did the Hyderabad boys knowing they had nothing to lose. Both the goalkeepers were active and alert in defending opponent’s attacks. Second half was more or less the same except that Kahaani slowed down their attack a little in the end. With the final whistle it remained a goal-less match but Kahaani would take the draw happily as it meant they were going to play the next round. Also, with this, they remained undefeated throughout the zonal round.
The result of the second match would’ve mattered if Kahaani had lost the first match. But after the draw, both the teams played for a consolation victory in the last match of the group stage. Few players of FLA missed the match due to some reason. Knowing this, ARA pressurised them through their early attack and scored a couple of early strikes. After this, FLA played the whole match on the backfoot, trying to recover from that. But it was all in vain as ARA boys played brilliantly well. With a consolation goal in the last moments of the match by FLA, the full-time score of the match was 1-4 in favour of ARA.
Kahaani FC will be participating in the playoffs at the national level which will be played by qualified teams from all other zones. This is the second consecutive qualification by a team from Gujarat in U18 Youth League. Last year SAG qualified for the playoffs in Shilong.