Santosh Trophy 2021: Manipur beat Mizoram, enters final
Manipur recorded a crucial win over Mizoram by 1-0 goals to qualify for the final round of the 75th Hero National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy 2021.
Updated on 2 Dec 2021, 5:52 pm
Manipur recorded a crucial win over Mizoram by 1-0 goals to qualify for the final round of the 75th Hero National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy 2021 (NE Zone Qualifying Round-Group B) played at Main Stadium, Khuman Lampak on Thursday.
The host team Manipur heaved a sigh of relief as forward NG Bedeenpar Moyon brought up the lone winning goal, to bring rapture to the stadium from the spectators and bench officials alike.
The first half proved to be a stalemate as lack of aggression from the teams. However it was quite natural for Mizoram to play safe as a goalless draw can see them through to the final round as they have won two games already. But for the host team, it was either a win to qualify or a defeat meant elimination. Manipur have won one game and lost one in the qualifying round.
However the second half proved to be a game changer for Manipur as they started creating chances, unfurling their wings with Sudhir Laitonjam. Forward S.Johnson had nearly one from a powerful volley but Mizo keeper Muanawma made a diving save.
Mizoram too get cracking but David Lalchhuanawma takes too long to release, to miss the sitter.
But the real turning point for the host team came when substitute forward NG.Bedeenpar Moyon makes some crucial run and soon came up with the winning goal when Sudhir Laitonjam makes a cross from the goal line and Bedeenpar made no mistake in tapping home the goal in 63 minute for the victory on Thursday.
Manipur and Mizoram finished the qualifying round with two wins, one lost game each. However the host team had better goal aggregates than Mizoram. Manipur scored a total of 4 goals and conceded 2 goals while Mizoram scored 2 goals and conceded 1 goal. Nagaland and Tripura got 3 points each from one win and two lost games.
Earlier in the day's play, Nagaland brought up their lone win beating Tripura by 6-0 goals.
Among the spectators, one elderly parent of the Manipur team said, we can have a peaceful meal and sound sleep after Manipur win to qualify for the final round. As a parent, we are more worried about the future of players, more than they are, as defeat can shatter their dreams as they are all youngsters. The win makes us proud and an opportunity door for them to do even better.