Dream Sports Foundation holds first edition of DSC, plans to expand the IP

Punjab FC wins the final against East Bengal FC; DSF plans to expand into other sports across multiple age groups for both boys and girls.

Update: 2024-06-12 05:40 GMT

Punjab FC were crowned champions of the inaugural Dream Sports Championship by DSF. (Photo Credit: DSF)

Mumbai, June 07: As the curtains came down on the Dream Sports Championship U-17 National Football tournament, Punjab FC emerged triumphant on the night of the final with a 1-0 victory over East Bengal FC in Mumbai on Friday. DSC was organized by Dream Sports Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dream Sports.

Both teams went toe to toe for the bulk of the ninety-minutes, but it was Punjab who came out with much better intent, created more chances and in the end, deservedly ended up as winners of the inaugural edition of the competition.

Even though East Bengal Football Club (EBFC) had more possession (53%), it was Punjab FC who were more efficient with the ball. The latter peppered 23 shots at the EBFC goal, 12 of which were on target, forcing the East Bengal keeper to make 11 saves.

On the other hand, EBFC could only muster nine shots, of which a mere three were on target. Evidently, it was the lack of quality chances that led to their downfall tonight despite a stellar performance throughout the tournament.

A tournament to remember

๏ปฟThe National finals was the culmination of a tournament that was spread across two phases and began with a city-leg where 37 teams participated across 6 regions. Eight teams qualified for the national finals leg.

It was at Mumbai that the national leg unfolded, throwing up some great action with the brightest youngsters in the country leaving no stone unturned in their pursuit of glory.

Although EBFC were unable to find the back of the net in the final, they scored a whopping 13 goals in just three group stage games, including a 7-1 thrashing of Mumbai City FC.

Meanwhile, Punjab FC were level on points with Chennaiyin FC at the end of the group stage and banked on their superior goal difference to book their spot in the final.

Punjab FC, most notably, did not concede a single goal in the entire National Finals leg - a testament to their rock solid defense.

Punjab FC player attacking the ball. (Photo Credit: DSF)

Their senior team, which made its debut in the ISL just last year, surprised everyone by finishing a respectable 8th, just 2 points off one of the qualifier spots.

And this result from their youth squad at the grassroots augurs well for their overall growth and development.

"Dream Sports has made a significant difference in the lives of players both on and off the field. It has not only provided a competitive platform but also paid attention to the presentation of the players," said Ishant Singh, head coach of Punjab FC.

A positive response

๏ปฟThe DSF U-17 football tournament is one of only two national level club football competitions held at the U-17 level. It has garnered an overwhelmingly positive response in its inaugural edition.

With the objective of providing well organized and high-quality tournaments for lower age group athletes, the event has indeed delivered.

"Back in our days, we didn't get enough opportunities as players to play for the country but Dream Sports Championship has taken a great initiative to grow football and is making it happen for the youth today," said Barun Sengupta, head coach of East Bengal FC.

The same sentiment was echoed by East Bengal FCโ€™s captain Haru Roy who hailed the tournament. "It's every player's dream to play for the country so I think DSF tournaments will be really beneficial for us."

Similarly, Tourangbam Zaithkeen, captain of Punjab FC, praised the organizers. โ€œIt's not everyday you get the chance to perform at a stage this big and we're looking forward to more such opportunities from Dream Sports."

The national leg was broadcast live on the FanCode app, and AIFF scouts watched the tournament with the aim of picking and grooming players for future Indian National camps.

This tournament provided a great opportunity for the young guns and clearly, they gave it their absolute best.

Expansion into other sports

For Dream Sports Championship (DSC), Competitions & Leagues vertical of DSF, the goal now is to replicate the success of this tournament and provide the DSC platform in multiple sports and under age groups and provide high quality match practice.

Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Dream Sports, laid out the plans of DSC. โ€œDSF is core to realizing our vision to Make Sports Better and contribute to the Hon'ble PM's vision of making India a sporting nation.โ€

โ€œDream Sports Championship will be a platform for young talent to hone their skills and participate in competitive sports.โ€

โ€œThe inaugural season of DSC has been a great experience and a learning curve for us. We will use this to expand the program across sports,โ€ he concluded.

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