Shillong, Apr 3: The Meghalaya football team will leave for Ludhiana, Punjab, today afternoon to take part in the Santosh Trophy final round, which will begin on 8th April and run until 21st April.

There are four changes to the 20-member squad that took part in the North East zonal round, where Meghalaya topped Group A by defeating Tripura and Mizoram in February. Wanlamsuk Nongkhlaw, Figo Syndai, Atlanson Kharmaw and Enestar Malngiang come in for Arnesius Marwein, Rimitre Thma, Roikhihbha Nongtdu and Chanmitre Thma.

The Meghalaya team will once again be led by experienced coach Khlain Pyrkhat Syiemlieh.

The team was bid farewell today morning in Shillong, with Meghalaya Football Association senior cell committee member L Darlong encouraging the players to “grab their opportunity”.

“The Santosh Trophy now is open to all – anyone can win. You must grab your opportunity and give your best because a second chance won’t come,” he told them.

Meghalaya have been drawn with Odisha, Goa, Delhi and Services in Group A of the final round. Meghalaya will first play Delhi on 8th April, followed by Odisha (10th April), Services (14th April) and Goa (16th April).

Services are five-time champions, having last won the national football championship in 2015-16. Goa are also multiple champions, but have not lifted the trophy since 2008-09, though they were runners-up in 2016-17.

In Group B are Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab and Sikkim. The top two teams from each group will progress to the semifinals.

Meghalaya squad: Kenio Lyngkhoi, Brolington Warlarpih, Mediphrangki Pohleng, Batskhem Tariang, Donborlang Nongkynrih, Raikutshisha Buam, Donlad Diengdoh, Ebormi Buam, Kynsaibor Lhuid, Niawkorlang Kyndiah, Skhemthik Salahe, Samuel Shadap, Ronaldkydon Lyngdoh Nonglait, Banpynkhrawnam Nongkhlaw, Damonlang Pathaw, Wanlamsuk Nongkhlaw, Frolicson Dkhar, Figo Syndai, Atlanson Kharmaw, Enestar Malngiang

Officials: Khlain Pyrkhat Syiemlieh (head coach), Dious Lapasam (assistant coach), Matheus Khyriem (manager), Sandarson Kharbyngar (physio)

(Photo contributed by the Meghalaya Football Association)

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