North East Dr. T Ao Trophy: Nagaland, Manipur begin campaign with win
Kohima, Jan. 20 (EMN): Nagaland and Manipur began their campaign of the North East Dr. T Ao Trophy 2020 on a good note by winning their respective matches on the opening day of the tournament at Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima, on Monday.
Playing the much-anticipated inaugural match in front of a packed home crowd, the host team Nagaland defeated Arunachal Pradesh 4-1.
Within the first minute of the kick off whistle, the Arunachal Pradesh’s defence committed a foul inside the D-box, for which the referee pointed to the spot. However, the home side failed to convert it into a goal as midfielder Hitova Ayemi’s spot kick was saved by Jagom Loyi, the custodian of Arunachal Pradesh.
Then Arunachal Pradesh scored the first goal of the tournament when its midfielder Nabam Peri blasted an unstoppable volley into the net after Nagaland stopper’s initial save fell right in his path in the 7th minute of the game.
In the 24th minute, Nagaland missed a gilded opportunity to find an equaliser with skipper Khwetelhi Thopi failing to convert the chance.
The long-range shots from the Nagaland forwards looked dangerous but all the shots fell into the safe hands of the Arunachal Pradesh goalkeeper. However, Nagaland forward Rhitsho Mero scored in the 39th minute to level the scoreline.
After a couple of minutes, Thopi again came close to scoring but Arunachal Pradesh defender Nyali Ete made a brilliant goal-line clearance to deny his attempt. Ete unfortunately sustained a leg injury for the effort and was soon replaced by substitute Dorjee Sherpa.
After the break, Nagaland wasted no time and picked up the tempo.
Tove Hokato Zhimomi doubled the score line for Nagaland in the 79th minute while substitute Sinenlo Kath converted the third goal from a penalty kick in the 86th minute. Ratobe Poireng Zeliang added the fourth goal for the home side in injury time.
During the match, Hitova Ayemi of Nagaland received two yellow cards and was given the marching orders by the referee.
In the second match of the day, six times champions Manipur thrashed Tripura 11-0.
In a clearly one-sided match, the defending champions scored an impressive seven goals in the first half and added four more in the second half.
Manipur’s talisman Siamminthang Valte scored the first hat trick of the tournament.
Valte scored the first goal of the match within four minutes into the game; scored his second in the 37th minute and completed his hat trick in the 60th minute.
His fellow striker Luginthang Kipgen scored a brace in the 6th and 82nd minutes.
Henry Monsang, Sr Kagaly Anal, Lalminliel Vaiphei, M Nongdamba Sing, S Kaphoi Sing and Haolengou Kipgen scored a goal each during the match.
The organising committee informed that the game played between Manipur and Tripura was the first-ever to be played in floodlights.
Nagaland governor RN Ravi attended the inaugural match
between Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh while the second match between Manipur
and Tripura was attended by MLA Zale Neikha, advisor for Youth Resources and
Sikkim vs Assam at 2:00 pm
Mizoram vs Meghalaya at 4:30 pm