With the grace and blessings of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, one of the most eagerly anticipated kishore events of the year – The Amrut Cup 5-a-side Football Tournament – was held in beautiful sunshine at Alperton Goals Soccer Centre, London on Saturday 18 July 2009.
After the initial set of group matches, the competition came to life in the quarter-finals, where Leicester A clinched a tight match 2-0 against last year’s finalists Leicester B. Harrow A overcame Enfield A 1-0 in an evenly contested match, and South A’s combination of speed, strength and composure demolished Southend 5-1. East A also secured their progress into the semi-finals with a 3-0 victory over a strong Coventry team who recorded their first ever appearance in the quarter-finals.
Kirtan Patel from East A scored a quick-fire double in the semi-final for East A with a consolation goal from Tej not enough for South A. The second semi-final was the latest in a series of epic encounters between two of the stalwarts of the competition, Harrow A and Leicester A. Leicester A struck what appeared to be a potential knock out punch in the first 10 seconds as Nikesh Patel scored straight after kick-off, and he doubled his tally with the crucial second goal to hand the tie to Leicester A with the score 2-0.
The Amrut Cup final between East A and Leicester A was a close match filled with spectacular goals, outstanding saves and high emotions. Dhruv Patel struck a thunderbolt goal from his own half. However Hari Patel quickly equalised with a long distance strike of surgical accuracy. With the scores locked at 1-1 and both teams evenly matched, something special would be required to break the deadlock. Hari provided this moment of magic with a beautiful strike – arguably the greatest in Amrut Cup history – to hand Leicester A victory. Congratulations to Leicester A, who have now matched the feats of the great North team of the past in winning the Amrut Cup for a record fifth time in the competition’s 13-year history.
Brent won the Nilkanth Cup beating Luton 4-0 with two goals by Kiran Patel. Rajiv Patel of East A claimed the Golden Boot with 17 goals, Sirish Patel of East A took the Best Goalkeeper award and Hari Patel from Leicester A won the coveted Player of the Tournament award for his outstanding performances that helped carry his team to victory in this year’s tournament.
This tournament was a great display of talent and brotherhood, played in the highest of spirits amongst our kishores coming together from around the country with a record 40 teams participating – with players arriving from areas as far away as Ashton and Preston. Many thanks to the organisers for a memorable tournament, defined by a unique mix of competitiveness as well as samp, suhradbhav and ekta.