Kolkata, June 8: It has hardly happened in the recent Indian football where a goalkeeper steered his team to the coveted victory by making three consecutive brilliant saves in the tie-breaker.
Such a rare scenario was seen at Mohun Bagan ground on Wednesday (June 7) in the IFA Shield semifinal match between Mohun Bagan and Pathachakra, a Kolkata-based team which ensured the berth in the last four stage of the historic IFA Shield.
Sanjoy Bhattacharya, the 18-year custodian guided Mohun Bagan to the final of the IFA Shield in its 121st year, making three consecutive magnificent saves in the tie-breaker.
But Bhattacharya in spite of being taken out of the ground by the Mohun Bagan fans on their shoulder after the match did not look emotional at all.
Even he did not seem elated after having heard a lot of praise from his coach Jo Paul Ancheri, the former international midfielder. Rather Bhattacharya said: “Let us win the historic IFA Shield first. Then we should celebrate.”
How has he been skilled in saving tie-breaker? Bhattacharya replied he has a teacher who has taught him and continuously teaching him the technique of penalty saving skill. But Bhattacharya has never met his teacher! He is Spider man Subrata Paul.
Bhattacharya said: “For last five years I have been religiously following Subrata sir by watching his matches on the television by minutely watching his practice videos through the internet and his interviews, published in the newspapers as well as by listening to his video interviews.”
Bhattacharya also revealed saying: “I have never been able to meet Paul that I often dream of. But having watched his skill in making saves in the tie-breaker I try to follow him.
"I have learnt to practice meditation every morning from Paul. I have learnt to follow disciplined life from his interviews.”
The five-fit-six inches goalkeeper also asserted that his aim is now to get into the senior team of Mohun Bagan and his next aim is to earn a place in the senior national squad.