Dream Sports Championship 2024 – Kolkata Leg witnesses Penalty shootout drama as East Bengal qualifies for National Final


All eyes were on Kolkata for the Dream Sports Championship as the pan-India football tournament kicked off on April 1 with U17 sides from some of the top local teams facing off. The competition saw intense action to the very end as East Bengal beat United Sports Club 9-8 in a marathon penalty session after a 1-1 draw in regular time.

The Kolkata Leg of the Dream Sports Championship saw many young players from five leading teams showcase their abilities. Topping Group A was East Bengal after commanding performances, including a massive 7-0 victory over Ariadaha Sporting Club. In Group B, United Sports Club prevailed over Bidhannagar Municipal Sports Academy on penalties in the final group game, in what proved to be the most exciting group of the Kolkata Leg.

In the final, the deadlock was broken by East Bengal early. Ajay Sahani proved his mettle as he opened the scoring in the final match, continuing his goalscoring form in the Kolkata Leg. This kept the team ahead in the first half, as United Sports Club kept the tempo up in search of the equalizer.

The tide shifted in the second half of the match. Eventually, all eyes were on Sanjib Orow, who pulled out a magical shot in the 77th minute to bring parity in the match and take it to penalty shootouts. East Bengal goalkeeper Deep Barman gave his team the perfect start, as United Sports Club missed their opening two penalties. However, a save from Debraj Sarkar for United SC was a lifeline, taking the match into sudden death.

East Bengal coach Barun Sengupta pulled off a surprise when he replaced goalkeeper Deep with defender Prajjal Saha. This move seemed to throw United SC off their game and they missed their final penalty, handing the victory to their opponents.

My players gave their 100% from the very beginning and played according to the plans perfectly. It was an honor to play in the Dream Sports Championship. Not only in Bengal, this tournament will also benefit all upcoming U17 footballers across the country. Huge appreciation for organizing this tournament.” opined Barun Sengupta, who was the coach of East Bengal.

We entered the field thinking that we would be champions because that is the legacy of East Bengal. It was a brilliant effort, even by the United Sports Club. In 2023, we played just four matches. But we played as many matches in this tournament in the Dream Sports Championship, which is a step in the right direction. A lot of players lose their chance to play professionally because of a lack of infrastructure so I hope this tournament continues well into the future,” said Haru Roy, skipper of the winning team East Bengal.

About Dream Sports Championship

Dream Sports Foundation (DSF) is the philanthropic arm of Dream Sports, India’s leading sports technology company with brands such as Dream11, FanCode, Dream Capital, and DreamSetGo in its portfolio. DSF’s vision is to make sports better via its athlete-centric programs. One of DSF’s key sports initiatives is ‘DreamGold’, a long-term elite athlete development program that is proud to support athletes like Sreeja Akula and Nethra Kumanan.

To support young, promising athletes, DSF has also curated long-lasting and impactful partnerships with the Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation, Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools, and the Dilip Vengsarkar Foundation.

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