Punjab FC beat East Bengal, clinch RFDL title

Photograph taken by Ishaan Shahane


The 2024 Reliance Foundation Development League (RFDL) has entered its third season and continues to improve with increased investment and support. The platform provides young footballers with excellent opportunities to shine, ensuring the highest quality of football through top-notch facilities and ongoing developments.

This season, 57 teams from across the country participated, competing through regional qualifiers held in eight regions. The national group stage took place at four venues, in the lead-up to the final rounds.

On Saturday, the final saw Punjab FC face East Bengal. Both clubs had played outstanding football throughout the tournament, but Punjab FC elevated their game to secure an impressive 3-2 victory, lifting their first-ever National Youth Championship title in the RFDL. The match remained evenly poised until the 73rd minute when Harmanpreet Singh scored a stunning goal, making the difference.

Source (Ishaan Shahane)

An interesting narrative from the final was that Punjab FC’s head coach, Sankarlal Chakraborty, had previously coached Mohun Bagan and defeated East Bengal. Reflecting on the win, Chakraborty said: “It was a very competitive match but we are happy to be on the winning end of it. The players from both sides played some fantastic football.”

The final also witnessed the presence of Indian football stalwarts Gouramangi Singh, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, and Subrata Paul, who cheered on the young talents. These former players have been integral to Indian football and see the RFDL as a crucial platform for youngsters to make their clubs and country proud, while also honing their skills to become better footballers.

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