The Kuki Football Academy emerged as Champion of the 8th Sadar Hills 1st Division District Football League after overwhelming Twilang Area Sporting Association in the final match held today at Brig M Thomas Ground, Kangpokpi District Headquarters.
The two-week-long football league was organized by Sadar Hills District Sports Association while it was sponsored by Kamginmang Kipgen and his family in memory of Late Nohjang Kipgen, a renowned Kuki warrior who fought the mighty Britishers during the Kuki Rising.
The closing ceremony of the league was attended by chief executive officer, Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council Kangpokpi James Doujapao Haokip as chief guest while chairman, Kangpokpi Town Committee Angam Leivon and chief of K Gamnomphai Kamginmang Kipgen who sponsored the league attended as guest of Honour and president respectively.
The action-packed final match was kicked off after the inspection of players by the guests and other dignitaries amidst cheers and applause from mammoth fans of both teams.
Four minutes into the match, KFA's Thangboi Kipgen found an early opener through his brilliant 35-yard strike to lead the game until an early equaliser from TASA through Haogoulun's 9th-minute goal to end the first half with a 1-1 draw.
TASA came back with a better performance in the second half as Paokhokap found the back of the net after converting a brilliant cross of Haogoulun in the 67th minutes to lead the game 2-1.
It is worth recalling that TASA had earlier defeated KFA 2-1 in their first match in the league and everyone was expecting the same result and TASA would be the champion of the league.
However, KFA proved them wrong by finally finding an equalizer in the 81st minute through Haolenngam after multiple attacks and pressure which TASA seems mentally unprepared for despite its physical toughness.
The final whistle was blown by the centre referee Lalminthang Lhouvum to decide the winner through a tie break after both teams were held in a 2-2 draw during the normal regulation time.
The tie break went in favour of the Kuki Football Academy as it won the match 7-6 in aggregate.
The champion Kuki Football Academy was awarded a Trophy and cash prize of Rs. 30,000 and the runner-up Twilang Area Sporting Association (TASA) was awarded a trophy and cash prize of Rs.20,000 while both teams were promoted to District Super Division League.