Shillong, Feb 15: A Kynsaibor Lhuid goal was all that separated Meghalaya and Mizoram, but the strike was vitally important as it sent Meghalaya into the next round of the Santosh Trophy national championship with a 1-0 win in Group A of the North East qualifiers.
Mizoram were semifinalists in the last two years and were also the 2014 champions, so it is a massive coup for coach Khlain Pyrkhat Syiemlieh and his team led by captain Brolington Warlarpih, who were able to beat Mizoram on their home turf in Aizawl today.
Only the top team from each group would progress to the next round and Meghalaya claimed that spot from Group A with their second victory, after having beaten Tripura 3-0. Mizoram then later defeated Tripura by the same margin, which made this contest an absolute must-win for both teams.
Lhuid scored via a 30th minute free-kick and Mizoram just could not find an equaliser in the remaining 60 minutes.
That’s not to say that they did not try, with PC Lalmuansanga, MS Dawngliana and Lalromawia all guilty of some wayward finishing as Mizoram paid the price for a lack of cohesion in the final third.
For the visiting side, Donlad Diengdoh, who scored a brace against Tripura, finished wide of Mizoram goalkeeper Zothanmawia’s goal while either Banpynkhrawnam Nongkhlaw or Ronald Lyngdoh Nonglait (there was some confusion as to who it was) also missed a great opportunity.
The second half saw a Mizoram team with more attacking intent as they managed to create several openings but ultimately were unable to find the back of the net.
(Photo: Mizoram Football Association/Facebook)