In a energetic and lively faceoff, Nagpur emerged victorious in the 2023-24 Wifa Inter-District Men’s Championship, clinching their second consecutive title by defeating Mumbai 1-0 in a nail-biting final held at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Stadium on February 5, 2024.
Nagpur’s journey to glory was marked by tenacity, overcoming formidable opponents like Gondia and Kolhapur in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively. Captain Fahad Azmi proved instrumental, scoring 3 crucial goals out of the team’s total of 6 throughout the competition.
Mumbai’s resurgence in the Championship was nothing short of spectacular, breaking a five-year absence from the finals. The team exhibited commendable determination, securing huge victories over Pune and Jalna en route to the championship match against Nagpur.
The final clash between Nagpur and Mumbai was a tense affair from the outset, with fans turning out in large numbers to witness the showdown. Despite Mumbai’s commendable efforts, it was Fahad Azmi who altered the course of the game, securing the lead in the 25th minute. Riding on the advantage, Nagpur played with increased confidence, but Mumbai relentlessly pressed on, refusing to concede defeat.
As the match unfolded, Mumbai pushed forward in numbers to breach Nagpur’s defense, but the latter stood resolute. The game escalated in the dying moments, characterized by heightened physicality and a flurry of unnecessary tackles and fouls. Both teams received five yellow cards each in injury time, underscoring the intensity of the final moments.
The final whistle eventually sounded, sealing Nagpur’s triumph over Mumbai with a narrow 1-0 scoreline.
Earlier in the day, in the battle for the third-place position, Pune and Kolhapur engaged in a heated match that ended 2-2 after 90 minutes, leading to a penalty shootout. Pune ultimately secured the third-place position with a 4-2 victory in penalties.