Shillong, Oct 31: Meghalaya lost their opening Group B match in the men’s football competition of the 37th National Games to Manipur 2-1 in Fatorda, Goa, today.

The match saw Meghalaya create and be gifted numerous chances but they struggled to convert them in the heat, scoring only after going two goals behind.

The first half was goalless but Manipur bagged the lead in the second via a direct free-kick that came off the woodwork before going into the back of the net, which was struck by Thiyam Chingkeinganba.

Meghalaya’s comeback was hampered greatly later on when they were reduced to 10 men after Fullmoon Mukhim earned a red card, his second offence being a studs-up challenge.

Then, in the 83rd minute, Manipur’s Phijam Meetei received a short cross, took his time and fired it between the defenders and goalkeeper to make it 2-0.

With the minutes slipping away, a through ball on the right was chased down by Donlad Diengdoh. The Manipur keeper rushed off his line and collided with his defender as Diengdoh stopped the ball, moved away from the opposition pair and nailed a left-footer.

Although they wasted no time in celebrating, 10-man Meghalaya still didn’t have enough time to find the equaliser and went down to their North East rivals.

Meghalaya will take on Maharashtra next on 2nd November. The other team in the group is Kerala, who will meet Meghalaya on 4th November.

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