Category: IFA Shield

Minerva Punjab invited for 121st IFA Shield

Chandigarh: Minerva Punjab FC have been invited to be part of the 121st edition of the prestigious IFA Shield U-19 Football Tournament to be played at Kolkata from 26th May to 11th June 2017. This is a historic milestone as Minerva are the first club in history to participate in the renowned tournament from Chandigarh.

The 121st Edition will see participation from the U-19 squads of 10 teams including Kingfisher East Bengal, Atletico De Kolkata and Mohan Bagan. Minerva Punjab FC have been granted direct entry along with 8 other teams and the 10th spot will be decided through qualifiers.

The IFA Shield is an annual football competition organized by the Indian Football Association, the governing body of football in the state of West Bengal, and came into existence in 1893. It is one of the oldest football tournaments in India and the fourth oldest Cup in the world. During the initial years after its inception, the IFA Shield was dominated by British army teams. However, their stranglehold over the Shield was broken in 1911, when Mohun Bagan Athletic Club became the first Indian team to win the IFA Shield by defeating East Yorkshire Regiment 2-1. That was a historic moment for Indian football, as the natives beat the Englishmen at their own game.

In the 1960s and 1970s, IFA Shield, Durand Cup and Rovers Cup were considered as the three ‘blue ribbon’ tournaments in Indian football. Over the years many foreign clubs have also been invited to play in the historic tournament. U19 and reserve sides of teams like Crystal Palace, Penrol FC, Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayern Munich have featured in the tournament.

This year only players born between 1st January 2008 and 31st December 2000 are eligible for the tournament and many of Minerva’s players from the recently concluded U-18 I-League in which Minerva qualified for the final round are expected to feature in the side for IFA Shield. Surinder Singh, Head Coach of Minerva’s Senior I-League side will lead the team, “We are confident that the boys will put up a good show, they are excited to be part of such a historic and reputed tournament!”

The winner of the tournament will be awarded Rs. 5 Lakhs where as the Runners Up win Rs. 3 Lakhs.

IFA Shield: TFA pip Elite Academy to crown champions in 120th IFA Shield

By Debabrata Majumder

KOLKATA: Tata Football Acdemy pipped AIFF Elite Academy 3-2 through an extra-time own goal to clinch the title in the 120th U19 IFA Shield, here on Sunday.

In the process TFA also avenged 0-2 loss in the final of U18 I-League less than a month ago to the same opposition and earn their maiden IFA Shield title at Mohun Bagan Ground.

Elite Academy took the lead in the 16th minute through Bodo Baoringdao only for Subham Ghosh to restore parity for TFA in the 44th minute and it was Shubham who put TFA into the lead in the 72nd minute which was again equalized by Jerry Lalrianzuala in injury time. Jerry, however, added one into the back of his own net in extra-time which put an end to Elite Academy’s 31-match unbeaten streak.

Both teams started with a lot of purpose. Elite Academy got a great opportunity to take the lead in the 6th minute. But Prosenjit Chakraborty’s header off a Nijwm Muchahary cross sailed harmlessly over the bar.

TFA, on other hand, after soaking some pressure began pushing forward and almost took the lead through Senino Kuki but the striker failed to keep his effort on target in the 13th minute.

However, it was Elite Academy who drew first blood in the 16th minute when Bodo headed the ball home from a Jerry Lalrinzuala corner to give his side a well deserved lead.


Despite conceding, TFA continued to attack the rival goal and after missing some half chances equalized at the stroke of the half-time through Subham, who scored off a free-kick to tie things up before the interval.

Changing over, TFA kept the pressure on and had a few close chances through Mobasir Rahman and Firoz Khan but the Elite Academy defense managed to clear the attacks.

Elite Academy, however, almost regained their one goal advantage in the 65th minute but Prosenjit failed to capitalise after being set up by substitute Edmund Lalrindika.

Thereafter, Elite Academy continued to push up with intent but a rash challenge at the back from Jerry on Kuki handed TFA a penalty. Subham, who later adjudged man-of-the-match, stepped up and slotted past Prabhsukhan Singh to give TFA a 2-1 lead.

Trailing 1-2, the reigning U18 I-League champions took the attack on to the TFA half and equalized just a minute before the full-time through Jerry to take the match to extra-time.

Jerry, who was in thick of things for most of the evening committed a fatal error in the extra-time as he deflected a corner into his own net in the 10th minute that make it 3-2 in favour of TFA.

In the remiander of the extra-time TFA produced yet another solid defensive performance to protect their lead and crowned the new kings of the IFA Shield.

Subham was named man of the match while Bodo, who finished as the joint top scorer at the competition along side Crystal Palace’s Francis Baptitse with 6 goals, has been declared player of the tournament.

IFA Shield: TFA edge Frenz United; face AIFF Elite Academy in final

By Shymal Majumder

KOLKATA: A solitary strike from Seineo Kuki saw Tata Football Academy ousted Frenz United FC from the 120th U19 IFA Shield with a hard fought 1-0 victory, to set up a summit clash with AIFF Elite Academy.

The second semi-final of earth’s fourth oldest club tournament never really rose to great heights but TFA clearly were the better of the two teams on show at the floodlit Mohun Bagan Ground on Thursday evening.

Enjoying a seven-match winning streak in the competition, TFA started attacking from the word go and made their intentions clear.

Kuki soon broke the deadlock in the 13th minute when his shot from edge of the box went straight into the back of net.

However, Frenz United FC did not give up without a fight as the Malaysian outfit had more attack and ball possession in the later part of first half but TFA managed to defend their slender lead as the scoreline read 1-0 in favour of them at half time.

Changing over, Frenz United took charge and hogged possession, but TFA refused to submit and ended up having the last laugh. TFA’s Vijay Kumar was named man of the match.

Now TFA will take on AIFF Elite Academy in the finale on Sunday at Mohun Bagan Ground. Less than a month ago these two sides meet in the final of U18 I-League where Elite Academy got the better of TFA 2-0.

Photo- Ajay Majumder

IFA Shiled: AIFF Elite Academy pip Crystal Palace in penalties to enter final


KOLKATA: AIFF Elite Academy entered the final of the ongoing 120th U19 IFA Shield after defeating Crystal Palace FC 6-5 in the sudden-death on Wednesday.

The first semi-final of the competition saw both sides level at 2-2 till the end of 120 minutes which resulted in a tie-breaker at the Mohun Bagan Ground.

Dominating the first half Elite Academy took 2-0 lead before the interval through Bodo Baoringdao (29th) and Prosenjit Chakraborty (45+1st). However, making a splendid comeback in the second half Crystal Palace equalised courtesy a goal each from Francis Baptiste (52nd) and Kian Flanagan (81st).

In a match where both teams were looking to grab a win in order to seal thier place in the finale, there was plenty of excitement and end to end action.

The first half saw AIFF colts completely dominate proceedings keping the ball for long spells which frustrated the opponent and forced them to make mistakes. For AIFF Bodo was the recipient of two of the best chances at the start but the Assamese striker could not make those count.

Having missed a host of chances till the half hour mark, AIFF finally broke the deadlock in the 29th minute when Bodo converted from the spot. The penalty was awarded to AIFF after Crystal Palace defender Emmanuel Omrore handled the Ball inside the box.

The visitors, who struggled for ball possession, made occasional forays. Francis Baptiste and Victor Fundi made some good runs but didn’t come up with anything special that could trouble AIFF goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Singh.

Having scored, AIFF continued to put pressure and held midfield superiority as thier pressure yielded another goal at the stroke of half-time when Prosenjit headed the rebound of his own shot which was blocked by the rival keeper Colm Mcadden to give his side a 2-0 advantage at the break.

Crystal Palace, however, began the second half confidently and attacked the rival goal with intent. Their persistent efforts bore fruit as Francis Baptiste halved the deficit for the English outfit in the 52nd minute.

The goal spurred Crystal Palace who put the pressure on the AIFF defence as they pushed ahead in numbers to find the equalizer attacking through Francis Baptiste, Victor Fundi and Levi Lumeka but were falling short in the final third.

However, Crstal Palace equalised through Flanagan in the 81st minute to take the game into the extra time.

In the extra time both the teams wasted opportunities to take the match to the shootout where Anirudh Thapa, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Prosenjit, Bodo, Namgyal Bhutia and Surya Tirkey scored for AIFF while Edumund Lalrindika was denied by Mcadden.

For Crystal Palace, Flanagan, Lumeka, Bryce Hosannah, Joseph Hungbo and Liam Coates converted their chances while Baptiste and Ryan Elliot saw thier effort saved by Prabhsukhan.

IFA Shield: Crystal Palace sneak into the semis; edge East Bengal 1-0

By Debabrata Majumder (Report & Pictures)

BARASAT: Francis Baptiste’s second-half strike facilitated Crystal Palace’s march into the semifinals of the 120th IFA Shield 2015-16 as they downed East Bengal 1-0 in an Group-A fixture played at Barasat Stadium, on Monday.

Going into the match both the teams were level on points, Crystal Palace only needed a draw to secure a semi-final berth while it was a must win encounter for East Bengal.

The first-half was confined mostly to the midfield with both the defence giving nothing away. Crystal Palace enjoyed slight edge with a couple of scoring chances, but East Bengal keeper Amit Biswas rose to the occasion to deny the Eagles an early lead.

Crystal Palace made the first move in the 17th minute when Kian Flanagan sent a cross from the right into the box for Victor Fundi, whose header was blocked by keeper Amit. Three minutes later Baptiste’s effort was again saved by Amit who dived full length to his left.

East Bengal, on the other hand, had nothing much to offer as some solid defensive work from Crystal Palace denied them a clear look at the goal in the first-half,

Meanwhile, maintaining the pressure in the latter part of the half, Crystal Palace came close to scoring twice but the East Bengal defence stood firm and denied Levi Lumeka and Fundi from taking the lead to have both the teams going goalless at half-time.


After change of ends, Crystal Palace almost took the lead within five minutes into the half but Baptiste unbelievably shot wide with only keeper in front.

East Bengal, who relied on counter attacks, had a good chance to surge ahead in the 64th minute but Arup Roy’s effort missed the target narrowly off a pass from Suraj Raseli.

The rest of the proceedings entirely belonged to Crystal Palace as the English outfit shot into the lead in the 67th minute through Francis Baptiste.

The East Bengal defence, which withstood the pressure, fell apart, when a collision between Fundi and East Bengal keeper Amit enabled Baptiste slotting the ball into the back of the empty net.

Having conceded East Bengal pressed hard to restore the parity but a red card to defender Rahul Ghosh in the 77th minute just made matters worse for East Bengal.

In the remainder of the half Crystal Palace protected their slender lead to log thier third and most hard fought win the competition.

Courtesy this win, Crystal Palace (9 points) made it to the semifinals as group runners while East Bengal bowed out of the competition finishing their group matches with six points from four matches.

Now Crystal Palace will face AIFF Elite Academy in the first semi-final of the competition, which a British team never won since 1938, on Wednesday at Mohun Bagan Ground.

IFA Shield: AIFF Elite Academy rout Mohammedan; enters semi-final as group winners

By Debabrata Majumder

BARASAT: AIFF Elite Academy inflicted a humiliating 5-2 defeat on Mohammedan Sporting Club to register their fourth consecutive win in the ongoing U19 IFA Shield on Sunday.

Bedashwor Singh (10th & 72nd) barce and a goal each from Edmund Lalrindika  (39th), Bodo Baoringdao (56th) and Prosenjit Chakraborty (86th) sealed a convincing victory for Elite Academy that guided them into the semi-finals as group champions. For Mohammedan Diptanu Das (29th) and Sanu Hazra (82nd) pulled a couple of goal back.

Elite Academy, who already sealed a place into the last four prior to the match and Mohammedan were out of the semifinal contention thus made this Group-B encounter a dead-rubber at Barasat Stadium.

AIFF colts set the ball rolling from the start with swift short passes holding ball possession and went ahead in the 10th minute through Bedashwor who guided Nijwm Muchahary’s low cross into the back of the net with a delicate touch.

Mohammedan, however, responded around the half hour mark agianst run of the play through Diptanu who slotted a volley in after making a brilliant run down the middle.

Six minute before the interval Elite Academy regained their one goal advantage when Muchahary ran past a couple of Mohammedan defenders on the left side before sending a square-pass to Edmund, who made no mistake slotting the ball home from close range.


Mohammedan, in the absence of key players like Khalid Hossain and Sk. Suraj Ali, failed to play a cohesive game and looked mere spectators in the first-half

At half-time AIFF Elite Academy went into the dressing room with the 2-1 lead.

Elite Academy continued to dictate terms in the second half too and made it 3-1 in the 56th minute when the Mohammedan defence failded to clear a flag-kick and it was Bodo who found himself nearest and headed the ball home with ease.

Meanwhile, Mohammedan almost pulled a goal back through Kamal Roy in the 64th miunte but the midfielder’s effort was denied by the AIFF keeper Dipak Bulani on the far post.

However, the Mohammedan defence wilted under pressure as their citadel crumbled yet again in the 72nd minute when Bedashwor chipped one over from 25-yards out as Mohammedan keeper Raja Hela was nowhere near his goal.

Mohammedan pulled a goal back in the 80th minute when Sanu converted from the spot.

Prosenjit, who came as a substitute, then rounded off the tally scoring with an angular drive in the 86th minute to complete yet another comfortable win for the reigning U18 I-League champions.

Now AIFF Elite Academy will play the Group-A runners in the semi-final which is more likely to be Crystal Palace FC, though the English giants must garner atleast a point against East Bengal tomorrow in order to ensure their spot. While Mohammedan finished their campaign at the bottom of Group-B with only a point from four games.

Photo By: Santanu Biswas

IFA Shield: Frenz United edge Mohun Bagan, enters semi-final

By Shyamal Majumder

KOLKATA: Aep Maulana did the star turn for Frenz United FC as his first-half strike proved decisive in his team’s 1-0 win over Mohun Bagan in thier Group-B clash of the U19 IFA Shield played at the Mohun Bagan Ground in Kolkata here on Sunday.

The all-important goal came in the 13th minute through Aep Maulana, which ultimately turned out to be the match winner and helped Frenz United to enter the play-offs as the group runners with 9 points from four matches behind AIFF Elite Academy.

Mohun Bagan who haven’t won a single match in the competition finished on fourth of the five-team group with only a point from four matches.

Frenz United, who needed just a draw to make the last-four, started out aggressively and took the early lead in the 12th minute when Maulana beat a couple of Bagan defenders on the right side before slotting a grounder into the back of the net.

Six minutes later Hadi Fayyadh drove the ball straight into the hands of Bagan keeper Debnath Mondal .

Bagan midfield committed lot of errors as they played close to the defense allowing Frenz United to penetrate more often and Shahrul Akmal had a chance to increase the lead midway through the half but Debnath palmed his effort away to safety.

Thereafter, teams walked into the dressing room with the visitors leding 1-0.

After change of ends, Mohun Bagan came out as a different side altogether as they gelled well in the midfield and probed often into the rival half.

The home side created at least three scoring chances but failed to score as Frenz United keeper made some good saves to frustrate the scoring efforts of Amit Gayen and Lalremruata.

Frenz United managed to hang on to the slender lead till the long whistle.

Photo: Ajay Majumder

IFA Shield: Francis Baptiste hat-trick helps Crystal Palace thrash United Sports 4-1

By Debabarta Majumder

BARASAT: Francis Baptiste scored first hat-trick of the ongoing U19 IFA Shield to guide Crystal Palace FC to a fluent 4-1 win over defending champions United Sports Club in their Group-A encounter, played at Barasat Stadium, here on Saturday.

Crystal Palace, who had better share of exchanges and scoring chances, netted through Baptiste (7′, 48′ & 55′), and Levi Lumeka (90+3′).

United Sports pulled one back through Sandip Bhattacharjee in the 74th minute but could not cut much ice all along.

Both the teams played an attacking game from the very start as they pressed for an early goal. Crystal Palace, who did most of the probing in the first half took the early lead in the 7th minute through Baptiste.

United Sports, who were jolted by the early goal, tried to retailate with a couple of good moves but Ansar Ali Mondal failed to keep his effort on target in the 16th minute. Provat Lakra also came close to scoring but his header missed the target narrowly in the 29th minute.

Salgaocar doubled the lead soon after resumption when Baptiste found the net in the 48th minute.

Seven minutes latter, Crystal Palace swelled the lead as Baptiste completed his hat-trick which was also first of the competition.

United Sports’ Sandip Bhattacharjee pulled a goal back for his side in the 74th minute.

Thereafter, Levi Lumeka rounded off the tally in injury time to have Crystal Palace collect full points.

IFA Shield: Frenz United trounce Mohammedan 5-0; inch closer toward semi-finals

By Shyamal Majumder

BARASAT: Frenz United FC demolished Mohammedan Sporting Club 5-0 in an Group-B encounter of the ongoing U19 IFA Shield here today at the Barasat Stadium in Kolkata.

Shahrul Akmal (55′ & 89′) brace and a goal each from Hadi Fayyadh (18′), Dody Alfayed (43′) and Aizat Mukhlis (89′) did not only took the Malaysian outfit inch closer to a semi-fianls berth but also knock Mohammedan out of the competition.

Frenz United, who lost thier last game against AIFF Elite Academy, were on the attacking mode right from the word go and having missed some half-chances till the 18th minute mark  drew the first blood through Fayyadh, who scored courtesy a defensive error by Mohammedan’s Muslim Molla.

After soaking some pressure, Mohammedan began pushing forward and almost equalised in the 26th minute when Kamal Roy sent a delightfull cross in from the right side for Khalid Hossain but the latter one failed to keep his header on target.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 43rd minute when Alfayed slotted from a corner to give his side two goal cushion at half-time.

Mohammedan started the second-half brightly as Sanu Hazra almost halved the deficit in the 48th minute but a slight delay from the winger allowed the Frenz United defence to clear the danger.

However, once again poor defending cost Mohammedan in the 55th minute as Frenz United skipper Akmal added the third for his side.

Frenz United had a golden chance to finish the game off in the 63rd minute when a penalty was awraded to them, it was who Akmal stepped up to convert from the spot but diving on his left Mohammedan keeper Raja Hela denied his effort.

Thereafter, Mohammedan tried hard to get a goal back but failed to penetrate into the rival box and in the process they conceded two more in the last five minutes of the game as Mukhlis and Akmal scored one each in the 85th and 89th minute respectively to complete a convincing win for the visitors.

Surprisingly, Mohammedan custodian Raja Hela, who did save a penalty but also conceded five goals was named man of the match.

Frenz United FC, who take on Mohun Bagan in thier next enconter on Sunday at Mohun Bagan Ground, need a draw to make it to the semi-finals while Mohammedan will face AIFF Elite Academy in a dead-rubber on Sunday at Barasat Stadium.

Photo- Ajay Majumder

IFA Shield: Lallianzuala, Azaruddin on target as LFC-DSK Shivajians Academy beat Mohun Bagan

By Mohan Kumar Biswas

KOLKATA: LFC-DSK Shivajians Academy put up a disciplined performance to score a convincing 2-0 win over Mohun Bagan in their last group stage game of the ongoing U19 IFA Shield here on Thursday.

LFC-DSK Shivajians Academy found both of their goals from dead-ball situation as Lallianzuala Chhangte (18′) coverted from the spot in the first-half and Sheikh Azaruddin (59′) found the target from free-kick in the second-half to settle the tie in LFC-DSK Shivajians Academy’s favour at Mohun Bagan Ground.

LFC-DSK Shivajians Academy began pressing and made early forays. After some half chances, the visitors took the lead in the 18th minute through their top scorer of the competition Lallianzula. The India international converted from the spot after Bagan’s Sourav Das handled the ball inside the box which enabled a straight red for him forcing the hosts to play with a man sort on the field for remaining 72 minutes.

Mohun Bagan, however, side did not lag behind as they gave good account of themselves and created a couple of moves but failed to convert them into goals.

The change of ends did not however bring a change in fortunes as LFC-DSK Shivajians Academy continued their dominance and doubled their lead in the 59th minute when Azaruddin curled a free-kick in from the edge of the box. The free-kick was awarded to LFC-DSK Shivajians Academy after Bagan custodian Debnath Mondal touched the ball outside the box.

The visitors continued to dictate terms in the remainder of the half but Prashanth K and Gagandeep Singh failed in their efforts as the scoreline remains 2-0 in favour of LFC-DSK Shivajians Academy at the end of the match.

This was LSK-DSK Shivajians Academy’s second win in the competition and in the process finished their campaign in Group-B with six points from four games.

Photo By: Ajay Majumder