The much-awaited final match of Dr T Ao Memorial Football Tournament will took place on March 27 here in JN stadium at 5pm. Football lovers and fans all over Shillong is expected to witness the defending champion Mizoram and Manipur in the final match. Many are now in cross-fingers thinking who will lift the coveted trophy.
Shillong, March 26, 2013
Host Meghalaya won the third place play off of Dr T Ao Memorial Football Tournament after convincingly defeating Arunachal Pradesh 6-2 in the match which was played at JN Stadium, Polo on March 26. Photo: Meghalaya (red jersey) Vs Arunachal Pradesh during the Third Place.
Despite a thin turn of home fans to watch the match, Meghalaya started off the match in an impressive way by pushing Arunachal Pradesh on the back foot right from the start.
The home team took an early lead five minutes through a well crafted free kick taken by skipper Niwan-O-Gatphoh just few yards away from the box which saw the ball sailed over the Arunachal Pradesh custodian Tadu Taka and sailed into the net.
After this intial lead, Meghalaya continues to push the ball forward and keeps the Arunachal Pradesh defenders on its toes. The home team got a great oppurtunity to increase the lead after Lansning Kharumnuid made a beautiful through ball towards Gatphoh in the 22nd minute whose powerful strike saw the ball missed the goal by a whisker.
Much to the disappointment of the home fans, Arunachal Pradesh finally got the all important equalising goal in the 26th minute after a long ball forward towards Tadar Tokum who made not mistake to level the scores 1-1.
Meghalaya again went into the lead in the 33rd minute after Lansning Kharumnuid made no mistake to put the ball into the net after a slight fumble from the goalkeeper.
In the dying minutes of the first half, the visting team again equalise after Nyamar Loyi took a gem of a free kick on the left flank which hit he crossbar and bounced down, into the path of team mate Hage Kemo, who put the ball in. The first half ended with both team locked at 2-2.
The two contesting teams did not settle for the four goals scored in the first half, with Kharumnuid scoring his second of the day in the 50th minute for Meghalaya to go 3-2 up. Receiving a chip deep inside the opposition half, he broke free from the defenders and thundered the ball into the net before Taka could do anything about it.
Given that Arunachal had twice come back to equalise, Meghalaya would have been thankful for some additional breathing space when they went 4-2 up in the 62nd minute through a desperate bicycle kick by Bickyson Kharkongor. Milancy Khongstia attempted a strong shot on goal from the left flank, but the Arunachal goalie blocked it only to see Kharkongor’s put the ball in through his acrobatics.
Gatphoh scored his second goal of the match after he curled the ball out of the reach of the goalkeeper to give Meghalaya a 5-2 lead in the 70th minute. Kharumnuid nearly got his hat-trick in the 77th minute after his powerful right footer was brilliantly save by the goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, Teiborlang Siangshai scored a blinder after his powerful strike from 30 yards away saw the ball went passed the goalkeeper and sailed into the net to guide the home team to a 6-2 lead.
In the closing stages, Meghalaya could have increase the lead as they failed to convert several scoring opportunities. The match finally ended with the host team winning by 6-2 goals.
In the final match to be played on March 27, defending champion Mizoram would take on Manipur at 5 pm here in JN stadium.
Donggala, Sulawesi Tengah
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