Shillong, Feb 18: Meghalaya trounced Delhi 5-1 to keep their hopes of a semifinal berth alive in the 76th Men’s National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy in Bhubaneswar today.
With this resounding win and with Manipur losing to first place Services, Meghalaya moved up to provisional second position in Group B with 7 points.
Donlad Diengdoh (17′, 57′) and Ronaldkydon Lyngdoh Nonglait (39′, 90’+7) both scored a brace each, while Meghalaya’s other goal came from Everbrightson Mylliempdah (90’+4).
This result is in complete contrast to the previous three fixtures, where Meghalaya had managed to score just one goal throughout.
The big win came just in time as Meghalaya have one more match to go, against bottom side West Bengal on Monday.
Today, coach Khlain Pyrkhat Syiemlieh brought back Manbhakupar Iawphniaw and Diengdoh into the starting line-up, while Damonlang Pathaw and Mylliempdah made way for them. Another Meghalaya face on the pitch could be found in the Delhi team – Kitboklang Khyriem (pictured left), who plays for Delhi FC.
Meghalaya were totally dominant throughout the game, with Diengdoh scoring in the 17th minute followed by Nonglait, who came on as a first half substitute, in the 39th and their team went into the break leading 2-0.
Player of the Match Diengdoh added another before the hour mark and, thereafter, the match experienced a period of calm before the storm of the last few minutes, with Delhi pulling one back through Ajay Singh (90′) only for Mylliempdah, who replaced Diengdoh in the 84th minute, and Nonglait to score in stoppage time and take Meghalaya to a 5-1 triumph.
Other results from the group today saw Railways edge West Bengal 1-0 and Services blank Manipur 3-0. Victory for Services meant that they booked their place in the semifinals, which will take place in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh.
Today’s Meghalaya squad: Rajat Paul Lyngdoh, Brolington Warlarpih, Wanboklang Lyngkhoi, Allen Lyngdoh Nongbri, Banskhemlang Mawlong, Dawanchwa Carlos Challam, Fullmoon Mukhim (sub Ronaldkydon Lyngdoh Nonglait 25′), Nikelson Bina (sub Damonlang Pathaw 84′), Figo Syndai (sub Donborlang Nongkynrih 49′), Manbhakupar Iawphniaw (sub Donboklang Lyngdoh 84′), Donlad Diengdoh (sub Everbrightson Mylliempdah 84′)
(All India Football Federation/Facebook photo)