Manipur picked up their third straight win of 77th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy 2023-24 beating Nagaland by 6-2 goals in the Group C league round played at Vijay Singh Pathak Stadium, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
The first 20 minute seemed palpable but the real moment of the game came in the 23rd minute when Manipur got a penalty and was well paid off with skipper Th Chingkheinganba scored to perfection for the lead.
Each passing minute, Manipur increased the pace with flanks and got rewarded when a right penalty edge cross found forward W Sadananda daring to go and unleashed a bicycle kick which provided little chance to Nagaland keeper Homuka in the 28th minute.
But not be outshone by their opponent, Nagaland replied positively and laxity on the part of Manipur defence saw midfielder Kevisanyu Peseyie slot home their opening goal in the 31st minute. As competition heats up, the run became more aggressive and Manipur goal scorer W Sadananda once again flourished when he netted home his second goal in the 44th minute.
Minutes later, Nagaland fought back and putting much pressure they finally got their second opening from a penalty in 45th+5th minute and Kevisanyu Peseyie made no mistake in converting the goal to trial by 2-3 goals.
As the game dragged on in the second half, Manipur unfurled their wings furthermore and took up more challenges, midfielder Ph. Sanathoi made his presence count when he banged home the fourth goal in the 62nd minute and came up with another goal in the 71st minute to tighten their grip in the match.
Keeping its defence intact, Manipur once again rattled Nagaland custodian when substitute midfielder L Bishal Singh scored in the dying moment of 90th+4th minute for the deserving win.
Mentioned may be made that Manipur were down to 10 men in the 52nd minute when Ng Jenish was sent off with a red card from double caution while teammates Ph Sanathoi, L Shankar and Nagaland players Sanyem Konyak, Menoneikho Nakhro, Sinenlo Kath were booked with yellow cards.
In their fourth match, Manipur will meet Madhya Pradesh on October 15 at Bennett University Ground at 8 am.