BANGALORE: The 16 reputed college teams that lined up on the opening day of The New Indian Express-Paruchuri Group 7-a-side inter-collegiate football tournament produced a big success as far as performances were concerned.
The Mount Carmel Stadium in Vasanth Nagar wore a festive look with students of participating colleges turning up in large numbers to cheer their teams. Paruchuri Surendra Kumar, chairman and managing director, Paruchuri Global Security Solutions Pvt Ltd, was the chief guest on the occasion, while Vignesh Kumar, vice-president and Gururaj, deputy general manager, Marketing, The New Indian Express Group were also present.
Curious on-lookers lined up the side walks of the busy thoroughfares around the venue. The ceremonial lamp was lit and the ball kicked-off to signal the start. Enthusiastic players, aspiring to become the Bhutias and Chhetris of tomorrow if not the Messis and Ronaldos, warmed up in style as their coaches gave them last minute instructions. And when the action stopped momentarily, the DJ played music.
The game was entertaining for sure. As it had rained heavily the previous night, the ground was a bit slippery and the boys had a field day sliding and tackling.
With qualified referees from the State Referees Board officiating, there was no room for any slackness in supervision. Some of the matches were very closely contested. Some were one-sided affairs. By the end of the day, the players had provided spectators the chance to witness some thrilling shots and finishes.