AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: After the recent round of matches, three teams booked their spots in the Final Round of the Hero Elite League (U-18), while two advanced to the playoff rounds.
Three big names of Indian football – Quess East Bengal, Salgaocar and FC Goa – made their way to the finals of the tournament. Whereas, the likes of Kerala Blasters and MSP Football Academy secured their spots in the playoffs.
East Bengal, who were clubbed in one of the toughest zonal groups, alongside New Barrackpore Rainbow AC, SAI Kolkata, United SC, ATK and arch-rivals Mohun Bagan, secured their spot in the finals on the last matchday of the group, defeating local rivals United SC by a 2-0 margin.
We had two more qualifers from yet another powerhouse of football – Goa – where the likes of Churchill Brothers, SESA Football Academy, Dempo SC, Sporting Clube De Goa, FC Goa and Salgaocar fought it out for qualification.
Salgaocar had already secured their spot in the main rounds with two matches yet to go, by dint of a 2-1 win over Dempo, earlier this month. However, they conceded a 0-1 defeat at the hands of FC Goa on Thursday December 27, which meant that the Gaurs managed to book themselves a spot in the finals.
Over to the Rest of India Group A, which featured teams from Kerala, Kerala Blasters and MSP Football Academy were the two sides that managed to make it to the playoffs. Blasters finished top of the table after a 2-0 win over Gokulam Kerala FC, while MSP made it to the playoffs by dint of finishing second, after completing a 5-0 thrashing of FC Kerala.