Shillong, Mar 8: Defending champions Smit and 2017 winners Assam Rifles breezed into the quarterfinal stage of the 4th Assam Rifles Invitational Football Tournament by winning their respective round of 16 fixtures with ease at the Assam Rifles football ground in Laitkor today.
In the morning match Smit, who also won the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2016, defeated Kith United 4-1, while it was one-way traffic in the afternoon game with Assam Rifles winning 5-0 over Umphrup.
Banpynkhrawnam Nongkhlaw put Smit into the lead in just the fourth minute and his team mate Wallamsuk Nongkhlaw doubled the lead in the 32nd. JL Marshillong pulled a goal back for Kith United in the 41st minute to give his side some hope of a comeback in the second half, but Kith United were unable to score further, while Smit added two more thanks to Banshanlang Nongdhar (61′) and R Khongjoh (80′).
Later Lalboy Kipjen scored a hat-trick in Assam Rifles’ victory, producing goals in the 32nd, 54th and 58th minutes, the last via a penalty kick.
Kipjen was denied a fourth goal after that by a sharp save by Umphrup goalkeeper Rinambiangki Thangkhiew and he was substituted out a little while later.
However, two more goals were scored by the jawans. The first a simple tap-in by M Chetry in the 84th minute and then again in the 88th, this time with Chetry turning provider for Jefferson Nongrud.
Tomorrow Mawpdang will face off with Madanryting at 10:30AM, followed by Nongthymmai versus Nongkrem at 1:30PM. Both matches will take place at the Assam Rifles football ground in Laitkor.
(Photo contributed by Assam Rifles. Umphrup are wearing blue shirts, Assam Rifles red)