Haryana City FC Crowned National Champions of Road To Old Trafford Tournament -
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Haryana City FC Crowned National Champions of Road To Old Trafford Tournament

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Ø  With the win, Haryana City FC secures dream opportunity to play at the iconic Old Trafford stadium

Ø  Road To Old Trafford is an initiative by Apollo Tyres, supported by Manchester United

Khel Today Bureau 

Chennai: Haryana City FC emerged as the National Champions of the Apollo Tyres Road To Old Trafford 5-a-side tournament in a thrilling finale at Chennai today.

The second edition of Road To Old Trafford, organised by leading tyre maker Apollo Tyres and supported by Manchester United, was held in multiple phases at a pan India level to unearth India’s best 5-a-side football team and saw more than 100 teams from different parts of the country participating.

In the end Haryana City FC, which hails from Delhi, prevailed over Gunners FC from Bengaluru in a tense final that went all the way to penalties, thanks to their sublime and nerveless display in the finals held at HotFut SPR City in Perambur, Chennai. After the match ended in a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time, it was the team from Delhi that maintained their composure during the shootout and eventually triumphed with a 3-2 scoreline.

In the process, Haryana City FC have earned themselves one of the most coveted prizes that any Indian football team can win – a chance to play at the hallowed turf at Old Trafford where some of the legends of the game over the years have enthralled football fans. The team from Delhi will be getting an unparalleled and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Manchester, UK for an all-expenses paid trip and play at the legendary Old Trafford stadium, also called The Theatre of Dreams and the home of Manchester United FC. The Grand Finale of the Apollo Tyres Road To Old Trafford to choose the ‘Global Winner’ will be held at the iconic stadium on May 31, 2024.

The tournament in its second edition was held in a bigger format with the initial round taking place in six cities — Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Bangalore, Kochi and Chennai wherein the city leg winners faced each other in the national finale, which also took place in Chennai today.

After winning the tense final, Pranav Sharma, Captain of the winning team Haryana City FC said, “Honestly, it hasn’t sunk in yet! We were pretty confident of ourselves right from the qualifying round but to compete against some of the best 5-a-side football teams in India and winning the national finals of the Apollo Tyres Road To Old Trafford tournament is really exciting. We can’t wait to go to Manchester and play at the historic turf at Old Trafford; it will be a great experience, a huge honour and we thank Apollo Tyres for providing us with this opportunity to fulfill our dreams.”

With Road To Old Trafford, Apollo Tyres aims to celebrate the passion for football in India and give talented footballers a platform to express themselves and showcase their skills. Remus D’Cruz, Head Marketing – Sports & Community Engagement, Apollo Tyres Ltd, said, “We have seen some great football and amazing talent across all the six cities where Road To Old Trafford took place this year and I would like to congratulate Haryana City FC who emerged as worthy winners. Their display has been superb right throughout the tournament to grab the trophy and the cherished opportunity to play at Old Trafford, which I’m sure will be a great experience for them. At Apollo Tyres, our attempt is to ignite the passion and provide a platform to young Indian footballers to Go The Distance and take their game to the next level through such initiatives.”

The tournament had 112 teams competing against each other in high-octane matches filled with action, drama and excitement. The best teams from each of the six cities advanced to the national finals, where Haryana City FC eventually emerged victorious.

The last edition of the initiative was won by Kalina Rangers of Mumbai, who won the India leg of the tournament as well. Playing against them was a legends team comprising former Manchester United star Dimitar Berbatov, treble winners Wes Brown and Andy Cole besides Indian footballing heroes Renedy Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Robin Singh and Tanvie Hans.

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