Hyderabad Sporting FC emerge as National Champions of Neymar Jr’s Five

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Gurugram, March 14: With over 1,000 teams bringing their best to the field, at the end there could only be one champion that would take home the title of Neymar Jr's Five.

Spanning across twelve cities, the tournament organised by Red Bull witnessed footballing talent proving their mettle from every corner of India.

Players in action from the final match between Hyderabad Sporting Vs Kalina Rangers

The qualifiers were divided into two categories, namely Corporate Leg and City Qualifiers, from which six and 12 teams, respectively, made it to the final 18.

While the champions beat the intense competition in their respective cities, it was time to showcase their skills before the country in the national finals on 10th March at CyberHub, Gurgaon.

Divided into six groups of three teams, each city champion faced 2 others in a league format; with one winning team from each group along with two lucky losers (taking into consideration the goal difference) making it to the quarter-finals.

In closely fought contests, Hyderabad Sporting FC, Hyderabad defeated Hi-Light, Bangalore and Kalina Rangers, Mumbai defeated Barefoot FC, Bangalore to reach the finals.

But when Hyderabad Sporting FC, Hyderabad and Kalina Rangers, Mumbai went head-to-head in the final, the spectators bear witness to a bout of the highest caliber.

The finalists knew from the first whistle that it was far from over as they put their best foot forward, overcoming the last and final hurdle to win the coveted title and the glory of becoming Neymar Jr's Five.

Semi-Final Match 2 Scorecard

Winners: Kalina Rangers, Mumbai

Runners-up: Barefoot FC, Bangalore

Score: 1-0

Final Match Scorecard

Winners: Hyderabad Sporting FC, Hyderabad

Runners-up: Kalina Rangers, Mumbai

Score: 3-0

Goal scorers: Emad Naser, Zaid Mohiuddin and Salman Alkathery

The inaugural edition of Neymar's signature football tournament featured more than 65,000 people taking part across six continents and 47 countries.

This year, teams from around the world have again set out in the hope of making it all the way from the qualifiers to the World Final in July at the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr in Praia Grande, Brazil.

The tournament organized by Red Bull has a unique, fast-paced format. Neymar Jr's Five sees two teams of five players, sans a goalkeeper, have 10 minutes to strut their stuff and win a chance to impress Barcelona's number 11.

The twist in this thrilling affair is that for each goal scored by a team, a member of the opposition will have to leave the field. The team with the maximum players take the spoils.

Speaking about the second edition of Neymar Jr's Five and looking toward the world finals, the international football star Neymar Jr. says, "I'm very happy with the second edition of Neymar Jr' Five, (happy) to be gathering crowds from all over the world.

"There are already more than 50 countries in this edition, thus the happiness is huge. I hope they can have fun with Neymar Jr' Five, because this is the most important - be happy, have fun - and well, wish you the best again."

Says Hyderabad Sporting FC, winners of the National Finals of Neymar Jr's Five "The format for Neymar Jr's Five is a lot of fun. The rules make it a lot more fun and competitive - you lose your game for a minute and bam, you lose a player.

"Properties such as this motivate Indian footballers like us to work hard, to achieve opportunities to represent their own country, which is always a very proud moment.

"We have worked very hard for this tournament and we are elated to win the finals against Mumbai without conceding a goal. We are looking forward to represent our country in Brazil."

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