You’re reading the blog of a winner. That’s right, yesterday, I was part of the Firstsource-Lloyds Football Team that won the inaugural Magic Bus Charity Corporate Football Tournament, held just outside Mumbai.
I found out about the Tournament through a friend who runs a monthly Ex-pat social in South Mumbai, and whilst I don’t play a lot of football (a couple of Saturday kick-arounds excepted), I passed the info on to Rohit, from work, who loves playing tournaments. He immediately said he’d get a team together & that I was playing… that backfired… didn’t it?!
As it was a charity event, each team had to raise INR40,000 to compete & Rohit immediately got his boys in the Corporate Social Responsibility team at Firstsource on the ball & got INR30,000 raised in a matter of days. Finbar has to raise INR10,000 to balance the books… ouch.
Anyways, monies paid, team gathered & special, limited edition kits procured (INR300 per person!!) we got the bus from Dadar at 0630IST yesterday (well, it was closer to 0730, but this is India). The Magic Bus centre, in the Maharashtra countryside was excellent… certainly one of the best finished facilities I’ve come across in India. They had two dorms, two cracking football pitches and some other activity sites on their property.
So the tournament kicked off… we were in the afternoon session, in a group with IDBI ‘B’ team and ICICI Venture. In our first game, we faced ICICI… and with a nifty wee back heel I set our striker on his way to an opening goal in a hard earned 3-0 victory. In our second game, we hammered IDBI ‘B’ 5-0, with yours truly grabbing the first goal (pre-determined celebration following, of course). We also managed to miss sitter after sitter… but five was enough.
And so we were through to the semi-finals to face Bloomberg. We were one up in the first minute, when making a diagonal run across the box, I brought the defender with me, fooled him with a dummy & the striker (who I knew was behind me) finished sweetly. Bloomberg proved to be decent competition, and the score was 1-0 at half time. In the second half however, they were pushing forward & we nailed them to the wall with three quick goals to seal a 4-0 win & a place in the final!!
There we would face Mahindra & Mahindra (so good they named them twice). This would prove to be a hard fought game, though we completely dominated possession, with M&M only creating odd chances. Then, 3 minutes into the second half, we took a lead & that was that. We held on & celebrated (a bit over the top if you ask me) being Champions!!
Photos, interviews, Trophy presentation all ensued, and that was that… we were off home with our special edition kits, the trophy & a cracking days’ fun in to the bargain… and we know that a well worth while Charity had raised over INR480,000.