Shillong, Nov 30: Meghalaya will take on Bengal in the first semifinal of the Sub-Junior National Football Championship final round in Kalyani, West Bengal, tomorrow. Kick-off will be at 10AM.
Meghalaya qualified for the semifinals from Group A, where they finished at the top of the table with 10 points from four games. Hosts Bengal, meanwhile, came second in Group B with seven points.
The second semifinal will be between Group B toppers Arunachal Pradesh and Group A runners-up Kerala.
Meghalaya were unbeaten in the group stage, defeating Kerala 4-2, Goa 8-1 and Punjab 6-0. After three wins they had secured a place in the semis and experimented with their starting XI in the fourth game against Odisha where they drew 1-1.
In total Meghalaya have scored 19 goals so far and conceded just four. Ten different players have scored goals, with four tied on three goals each – Colinsalmon Lyngdoh, Daminot Wahlang, Samlang Rympei and Baniatyllilang Mawkhiew – but the teamwork from the youngsters has been the most impressive feature of the Meghalaya team, which is led by coach Jefferey Warlarpih.
Bengal are the next hurdle and the hosts and will look to give Meghalaya a good fight. Apart from losing their opening fixture to Karnataka 1-0, Bengal have not been defeated. They had won against Maharashtra (2-0) and Haryana (4-0) before drawing with Arunachal 0-0 yesterday.
(Meghalaya Football Association photo)