Akranta lifted the District First Division Football League championship trophy by defeating Cantt Blues Khukri in their last league match by 3-0 here on Sunday. Akranta just needed a draw to clinch the title. Fancied Uttarakhand Police had to be content with the runners up spot. Akranta began the match cautiously. They took a long time to settle. As they were playing against minnows Cantt Blues Khukri, the football fans watching the game expected Akranta to dominate the proceedings right from the very start. But Cantt Blues kept things under control till the 35th minute. The 36th minute of the first half witnessed agile Rahul finding the target to give Akranta a 1-0 lead.
The second half began with lanky and speedy Balwinder dodging past the opposition and creating many opportunities. In the 11th minute, Vijay Singh gave an excellent cross and young Balwinder was on the spot. He neatly placed the ball in the net to give Akranta a 2-0 lead. Balwinder proved to be a major headache for the rival team and was continuously hovering in the danger area. Hard working Vijay Singh pumped in the last goal of the match to script the 3-0 win. With this win, Akranta concluded the league by registering a win in all the 7 matches it played. With 21 points, it topped the table to lift the glittering champion’s trophy. Uttarakhand Police had to satisfy itself with the second spot, 18 points in 7 matches. Defending champion DMK finished third, Doon Valley (fourth), Cantt Blues Khukri (fifth), CT Boys (sixth), Vijay Sporting Club (seventh) and Doon Eagle (eight).
Pushkar Singh Dhami, State President, Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha, was the Chief Guest at the concluding ceremony. Addressing the gathering, he made an appeal to the youths to take part in sports activities. Dev Lahiri, Principal of Welham Boys’ School, said, “I was surprised to know that there are some 22 football clubs in Doon. I would make an appeal to the citizens to help promote football in the Doon Valley.” Joginder Pundir, President of the District Football Association, highlighted the need to speed up renovation work at the Pavilion Ground. Ruing the delay, he said, “The renovation work on the Pavilion Ground has been underway for a long time. We are facing an acute shortage of grounds for hosting local tournaments. It is my request to the State Government to ensure that the renovation work on the Pavilion Ground is not delayed further.” Dhan Bahadur of CT Young was adjudged the best player of the league and Nitin Gurung, the top scorer.
With today’s match the two and a half month long football league of the District Football Association concluded. The first division matches were organised at the BR Ambedkar Stadium in the ONGC campus and the second division at the Mahendra Ground.