Manipur came up with a strong 6-2 goal win over Uttar Pradesh to record their second win in 77th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy 2023-24 (Group Stage) played at Vijay Singh Pathak Stadium, Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh.
Manipur is now equipped with 6 points as they had pulled off a solitary goal win over Tamil Nadu in the first match.
Following the perfect mantra of striking early, Manipur got the lead through forward W Sadananda Singh in the 5th minute of play. The goal rang the bell for the host team Uttar Pradesh as they tried hard for the equaliser but proved futile.
As the tempo somewhat died down at the opponent’s end, Manipur rose again with midfielder Ph Sanathoi Meetei got a perfect opportunity to roll home the second goal in the 34th minute. Then. in the added time of 45th+2nd minute, Manipur skipper Th Chingkheinganba netted home the third goal to enjoy the first half with 3-0 goals.
However, Uttar Pradesh had their revenge in the second half as Krishan Kumar scored from a penalty kick in the 51st minute to ease the pressure to some extent. But their joy was short-lived as Manipur exerted more pressure from the flanks and reaped rich rewards as Kh. Lucky Singh consolidated from a penalty in the 64th minute with Ph Sanathoi Meetei fetched another goal in the 71st minute to rule the game.
Uttar Pradesh tried to cover up their earlier laxity, they left no stone unturned and finally got their second goal from Yashraj Thapa in the 75th minute. But destiny rules otherwise, as a goalmouth melee showed, UP midfielder Adityaraj Singh while trying for a clearance, conceded an own goal in the 86th minute, which they could never recover.
UP players Abhishek Rawat, Yashraj Thapa and Manipur players Kh Lucky, W Arunkumar got yellow cards in the match.
In their next match on Thursday, Manipur will meet Nagaland.