MITFL Final—From Kickoff to Full-time
Although humid and sultry like most other Manipal evenings, the 8th of April was no ordinary evening as fans and football enthusiasts alike flocked to the Football field to witness the first ever final of the MITFL, the official football league of MIT. The culmination of almost three months of gruelling hard work, the final pitted the Zeta Bolts against the Omega Vikings for the silverware. The usual atmosphere was enhanced by music and the Champions league theme being played on loudspeakers to charge up the players.
With the defending champions Zeta facing off against the table-toppers Omega, onlookers had high hopes of watching a nail-biting match with both teams being evenly matched. However, the fans of the Omega Vikings were heavily disappointed owing to Zeta’s dominance of play from the get-go itself. Having managed to work their way through Omega’s defence, Zeta squandered a few half-chances until a lay-off by Kinshuk Sahni in the 14th minute set up a goal by the MIT captain-elect Saatvik Sharma.
Zeta’s fans were given more reason to celebrate almost instantly with Saatvik Sharma scoring just two minutes later with a long-range shot to bag his brace and settle the match decisively for Zeta. The second half witnessed a half-hearted attempt by Omega to try to regain control of the match however full time saw the scoreline unchanged with Zeta being crowned the winners of the first MITFL final.
This was followed by the prize distribution ceremony with the champions and the runners-up being awarded 12000 and 6000 rupees respectively, evading GST as smoothly as they slipped past their opponents’ defence during the season. To quote Satyaveer Pattanaik, a Senior Associate, “MITFL gives MIT’s budding footballers a platform to showcase their skills and realise their dreams of playing for a club. By doing this, we hope to improve the footballing culture in MIT and cultivate interest for the game in a country dominated by cricket.”