Kuwait March 29, 2012 : India’s football icon Alvito D’Cunha became the first player in the history of Kuwait Indian football history to play in Kuwait while still being an active player in India. The Goa-born footballer, was in Kuwait to play for East Bengal against Kazma SC in the AFC cup, he took to the field for Skynet Raiders FC against CRC Chinchinim in the Gulf Custody Company sponsored 21st edition NYC Trophy played at M.O.H Grounds, Shuwaikh.
Alvito ended up on the losing side, but his presence was a great boost to youngsters and a subject of discussion among football lovers.
Chinchinim won 4-3 via tie-breaker after the teams were locked goalless at the end of normal time. Goalkeepers of both teams - Skynet’s Melvin Fernandes and Chinchinim’s Anthony Fernandes were unable to save any penalties in the first 2 rounds. Alvito, standing in for goalkeeper Melvin, almost became a hero after saving a spot-kick off Chinchinim’s Anthony Dias. However, Skynet players shot out 2 penalties to handover victory to Chinchinim.
Indian clubs and the community in general appreciated Alvito’s gesture to promote football in Kuwait. Skynet Raiders, Kuwait Goan Association and the NYC Trophy organizers Navelim Youth Centre later felicitated the celebrated star.
Alvito was also introduced to players of the next game in which Kuwait Goan Association (KGA), champions in 2008, who were knocked out in first round by Kerala outfit Malabar FC. Navelim and Goa Maroons are the other 2 former champions to go out of the tournament in first rounds.
Malabar won the match in tie-breaker 3-2 after the teams were tied at 2 goals apiece during normal time. Sulikh and Sanal had scored for Malabar while John Costa and Christo Colaco were the scorers for KGA during the regulation time.
Shaijal, Noushad, Abdul, Hari, Riyas, Sulikh, Sanal, Ismail, Sulfi, Binu, Gibu, Shafi, etc the members of Malabar, were excellent throughout the game. KGA never looked like the side that won them accolades in the recent past.
Malabar has moved into the quarters and will now face strong contenders DHL FC who thrashed Real Betalbatim 4-0 thanks to a second-half hattrick by livewire Seby Barboza. DHL had taken the lead in the first half through their striker Cruz Silva before Barboza toyed with the weary Betalbatim players to score at will.
In another match, defending champions Indian Strikers were unlucky to be ousted by a solitary goal scored from a penalty. Referee Bernard Fernandes awarded the penalty to their rivals United Friends Club (UFC) when a goal bound shot hit the hand of an Indian Strikers player. UFC’s star player Remedios (Petto) Fernandes made no mistake with the spot-kick (1-0). UFC consisted of Martin Dias, Darwin D’Cruz, Teotonio Fernandes, Mauricio, Peter, Xavier, Bilal, Godwin, Hemanth, Abudi, Joaquim, etc.
The tournament consisting of 19 teams is affiliated to the Kuwait Indian Football Federation (K.I.F.F) is officiated by KIFF referees and sponsored by Kuwait’s Gulf Custody Company, one of the biggest fund custodians in the Middle-East.
Here is the upcoming schedule for the remaining matches