The NICE DH Cup 2022, Bengaluru’s first intercorporate five-a-side football tournament, was launched at Buffalo Wild Wings, Indiranagar, on Saturday, November 12. The participating teams and sponsors came together to celebrate the momentous occasion and usher in the rolling trophy that promises to occupy a prominent place in corporate calendars over the years to come.
The launch party began with Sitaraman Shankar, CEO, of The Printers (Mysore) Pvt Ltd welcoming the enthusiastic players and sponsors. “Deccan Herald is marking its 75th year and this happens to be the year of the World Cup. What better way to celebrate than with a festival of football?” he said. Shankar unveiled the glittering DH Cup rolling trophy and released the jerseys.
A special guest at the event, Chitra Gangadharan, former captain of the Indian women’s football team, encouraged the teams. “I am extremely happy with this tournament. You sit at a desk all the time. The game not only refreshes you but also makes you bounce back to work with more vigour”. She called on the corporates to lend a helping hand to promote women’s football. “More women need encouragement and assistance with gear and coaching”, she said.
Sponsors hail initiative
The sponsors appreciated the launch of the rolling trophy.
“We deliver both sports and education at our institution, and support initiatives such as the NICE DH Cup”, said Srinivas T R, Co-founder, of The Sports School. Also, representing the title sponsor Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Ltd (NICE), Srinivas said, “Ashok Kheny, Founder, NICE, loves and encourages sports. NICE is happy to sponsor this tournament”.
Host of the launch event, Madan Gopal, General Manager, Buffalo Wild Wings, said, “It is good to have you all here”, describing the ‘sports theme’ of the restaurant.
“We are happy to be the hydration partners of the NICE DH Cup 2022”, said Aditya Swaroop, Founder, Apah, outlining the goodness of this new product. “We are glad to be a sponsor of this tournament”, said Mansi Srivastava, representing Popeyes, outlining the new additions to their menu. Rahul Tadepalli and Siddharth Pradeep of Plaeto were happy to be a part of the tournament, and said the brand promotes comfort and team spirit.
Teams playing hard football
The matches got underway on November 19. The matches are held on weekends with just two scheduled on December 1. The teams have been playing some competitive football. Practice and training have been on since the day they came on board. Speaking at the launch event, the skippers were a bundle of excitement and enthusiasm.
“This is our first competition after the pandemic and we are excited”, said Uday Ogra a member of the Adobe team.
Keeping the spirit high, “I love playing the game no matter how hectic my day has been”, said Rajeev Basu of team BOSCH.
“The experience is so good. This is something new. It is good to meet so many teams and special guests. We are hoping to win the cup,” said Jason Ivan, team Epsilon.
Suraj Ganapati Jadhav, team HL Klemove, said, “We are excited to be a part of this event and to be there on the field”.
Srinivas Kempaiah, team IQVIA, said, “It’s a fantastic opportunity for corporates”.
“This initiative helps us connect and network with people through sports and we are excited”, said Newbigin G, a member of team Puravankara.
Anand Krishnamurthy, a member of the Swiss Re team, said, “We are happy to see so many teams competing in the inaugural edition of the DH Cup. This launch is firing up the spirit in us”.
“We are happy to be a part of this tournament”, said SudheeraDevadiga, team Tavant.
“This is a terrific start to building a network along with enjoying sports”, said Titan’s SivashankerAjjan.
“This is our first competition, and it will be incredibly exciting to participate and win”, said ShyleshThilagar, a member of team Wissen.
A sumptuous meal hosted by Buffalo Wild Wings was a pleasant ending to the launch event.
Keen competition on the field
NICE DH Cup 2022, the intercorporate five-a-side football tournament got off to a flying start on November 19 with four matches. This inaugural tournament with a rolling trophy has ten teams competing. The matches are being held on weekends to facilitate corporates playing, given their busy schedules.
Titan and Epsilon playing the first match were well-balanced. Epsilon scored in the opening minutes with Rohith Kamath netting one in and Titan took the lead with two quick goals by Shivashankaran and Hariprasad Prasad in the beginning of the second half. Epsilon put up a spirited fight and pulled out an equalizer in the last kick of the game virtually at the long whistle by Vinod M Venugopal holding his nerve to convert half a chance.
In match two, BOSCH beat IQVIA 5-2. Early in the game, K S Dinesh Kumar gave IQVIA a two-goal cushion but the team couldn’t capitalize on it. Arun Kumar got past the defenders to net one in just before halftime. In the second half, BOSCH came back strong with Arun Kumar, Arun Roy, and Syed Shadab finding the net for a two-goal lead. Arun Kumar is the first player in NICE DH Cup 2022 to score a hat trick when he got is third in the last minute of the game.
Match three between Tavant and Puravankara was one-sided with Tavant dominating with a 7-0 win. Syed Ashed Ahmed and SudheeraDevadiga scored two each while Mohammed RaziqueBarkath, Jayan P Cherian, and Shubham scoring one each.
In match four, Wissen had it easy with a 14-1 win over HL Klemove. While both teams scored one each within the first couple of minutes of the whistle, promising a keen game, Wissen ended up dominating in the one-sided match. Akash Mali scored six, Sidharth Mavila scored four, ShyleshThilagar and Shubham Pawar scored two each.
Match 1: Titan (2) drew with Epsilon (2)
Match 2: BOSCH (5) beat IQVIA (2)
Match 3: Tavant (7) beat Puravankara (0)
Match 4: Wissen (14) beat HLKlemove (1)
Tough, competitive football made for an interesting Day Two of the NICE DH Cup 2022 with 26 goals scored. In Match 5, Titan (5) beat Puravankara (2) with Shivashankaran and Hariprasad scoring twice each and SivashankerAjjan netting once. Kiran M and Raja Shekar got one goal each.
In Match 6, BOSCH dominated the game completely over HL Klemove going past the keeper 13 times and conceding none. Arun Kumar got five, Syed Shadab and Umesh Kumar scored twice, Arun Roy Patrick, Arun Sanjeev Vikas Partharaju scored one each. To add to the misery, HL Klemove’s Ashish Kumar scored an own goal in the dying moments of the game.
In Match 7, Epsilon beat Tavant 3-0. Rohit Kamath found the net twice and Anush Hegde got the third. Luck evaded Tavant though they fought hard. Jason Ivan, Epsilon’s goalie, saved a few and stopped Tavant from troubling the scorer.
Match 8 between IQVIA and Wissen was a breathtaking game. Wissen edged past IQVIA 2-1 with Sidharth Mavila finding the net twice. K S Dinesh Kumar scored with a screamer for IQVIA. Sarath K stood like a wall in the goal for IQVIA and denied Wissen several almost-sure goals.
The NICE DH Cup 2022’s first weekend’s games saw some hard football with the players throwing themselves to convert even half chances. The first two days of the tournament had 59 goals scored by eight teams.
Match 5: Titan (5) beat Puravankara (2)
Match 6: BOSCH (13) beat HLKlemove (0)
Match 7: Epsilon (3) beat Tavant (0)
Match 8: Wissen (2) beat IQVIA (1)
The next set of ten matches will be played on November 26 and 27 at the United Football Turf on Hennur Road.