Shillong, Jul 16: Imson secured a 2-0 victory over Mawlai with the two goals coming in the space of five minutes in the second half as the Shillong Sports Association’s First Division football tournament began here today.

Both sides were a little rough around the edges, unsurprising in the season opener, but Imson looked the stronger side in the first half. Mawlai, however, improved their game in the second, so it came as a bit of a shock when Williboy Kharlukhi bagged the opening goal.

It was an extremely long-range attempt in the 73rd minute, roughly from midway up the Mawlai half of the pitch, but Kharlukhi somehow managed to place it perfectly high to the right of the opposing goalkeeper, Pynshai Kharshiing.

In the 77th Skhembor Hashah was targetted with a long ball and he beat a charging Kharshiing to the ball and slotted it into the net.

Imson had finished in fifth place last season and had lost to Mawlai in their lone meeting. Mawlai, meanwhile, just about hung on to their First Division place thanks to that victory (the only one of their campaign), which put them a touch in front of Laitumkhrah, who were subsequently relegated.

Today’s game was held at Third Ground instead of the JN Stadium due to “unavoidable reasons”, the SSA said in a press release. Tomorrow’s fixture between newly-promoted Sohryngkham and Nongrim Hills will also be held at Third Ground, with the kick-off scheduled for 3:45PM.

(TSR photo. Imson are in blue, Mawlai in yellow)

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