AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: 55 teams started their journey in the U-16 Youth League this season across the nation for the 16 coveted berths in the National Finals which will be played in mid-January, 2017. Nine teams have been finalised until now from seven zones and others are still fighting out of their skin to grab the remaining slots.
Shillong Lajong FC and Royal Wahingdoh FC, the cross-city rivals from Shillong, have proved to be too strong for the other teams in the Shillong-Guwahati zone and they have already booked their berths in the National Finals.
Kenkre FC, having been drubbed by the other teams in the last edition, have come back strongly to make a strong statement this season. The Mumbai-based club have gathered 15 points from 6 matches and they’re going to represent the Maharashtra zone in the National Finals along with DSK Shivajians FC, who had a stupendous run in the zonal round. The Pune outfit have outplayed their counterparts completely, having smacked 36 goals in 6 matches and gathering all possible 18 points from them.
Although the last round of matches are still yet to be played in the Kolkata zone, the Mariners have shrugged off the last-year debacle and they’re already in the next round, thanks to their exuberant run in the zonal round where they have registered 6 wins and 3 draws so far. United Sports Club (17), Mohammedan Sporting Club (15) and Kingfisher East Bengal (12) are vying for the last spot available in the Kolkata zone. Their fates will be decided on December 10 when the Black Panthers will lock their horns with the Mariners and United SC play against the Sports Authority of India team. On the same day, Kingfisher East Bengal take on Southern Samity, who are already out of the tournament.
Sudeva Football Club completely outplayed the other teams in the Delhi zone and thanks to their 100% winning spree, they are going to represent the Delhi zone in the National Finals.
Undoubtedly, Ozone Group FC youngsters have proven to be the most brutal group on the pitch who netted 36 goals over 6 matches and didn’t concede a single goal. Other three teams were completely ousted and their performance have gone haywire against Ozone Group FC.
Redstar Football Academy held their nerves to grab the sole berth from the Kerala zone. Albeit Prodigy Sports were also running neck-to-neck with them, the Thrissur-based club finally claimed the solitary berth from the southernmost state of the Nation.
The Blues from Bengaluru have plied their trade from the Rest of India I zone and ousted the Goan powerhouses to snatch the only spot from the zone.
Pride Sports have sealed the sole spot from the Rest of India II zone which was staged in Gandhinagar.
Rest of India III is still going on in Imphal and the matches of the Rest of India IV group is slated to start in New Delhi on December 14, 2016.