Shillong, Sep 21: Nongthymmai came through 4-2 on penalties to beat Umphyrnai for the Second Division title in the final at the JN Stadium here today. Ninety minutes had ended 2-2 with all four goals coming in the second half.
Both sides had already secured promotion to next season’s First Division by reaching the final. They had also met once before as they were both drawn in Group A; then Nongthymmai had won 3-1.
The first half was a little timid from both sides, with the players perhaps feeling the pressure of the big occasion and the fantastic crowd turn-out.
The game burst into life in the second half when Pyndap War put Nongthymmai into the lead in the 61st minute after he chested a ball off a corner kick into the net.
Five minutes later, though, Nongthymmai committed a foul in their own box, with Umphyrnai awarded a penalty, which Rudolf Shadap converted to make it 1-1.
In the 75th minute Nongthymmai earned a free-kick near the corner flag. It came in, Nongthymmai attempted a couple of shots that were blocked but Umphyrnai couldn’t clear the ball away and Sambor Nongbsap finally fired it in to restore Nongthymmai’s lead.
Once again, however, the lead didn’t last long, with an 81st minute cross from Sanjini Dkhar from the right being met by Shadap on the left. He headed the ball across the face of goal and it clipped the upright at the far end and went in.
After 90 minutes the game went straight to penalties. Both sides missed from the spot, but Nongthymmai came through 4-2 to cap a fantastic season where they have been unbeaten throughout. It also comes during the club’s year-long 75th anniversary celebrations.
As champions Nongthymmai were awarded Rs 25,000, with Rs 15,000 going to Umphyrnai. Players and officials from Mawkhar were also present. They were presented with their trophy and champions’ cheque of Rs 50,000 for winning the First Division, which concluded yesterday.