Anirudh Thapa came on for Bikramjit Singh around the hour mark and made a telling contribution in the middle of the park. There was a moment when he won the ball and turned Sunil Chhetri in circles before the latter had no option but to foul the 20-year-old.
“It’s a great feeling, it’s like a dream come true for me. At this age, very few players get a chance to play in the final and we won it. It’s a great feeling,” said Thapa.
“It was a tough season for me as there were many midfielders, foreigners and Indians as well. They are like brothers. They helped me a lot. They encouraged me. I would like to thank them. Because of them, I could perform. I give my best and the rest is up to the coach,” he said in the aftermath of their triumph at the Kanteerava.
Thapa mentioned that he has learnt immensely from the likes of Gavilan and Raphael Augusto in particular. He also shared what coach John Gregory expects of him.
“There are so many players to look up to in our team like Raphael and Gavilan. I am just taking the good things from them. He (John Gregory) tells me to always keep the ball. He wants to get the ball and be with the ball. I hope to get more first team action next season,” he signed off.