Shillong, Nov 4: Kharang SC won a gritty final against Iatyllilang SC on penalties to bring the Shillong Sports Association’s U-20 Fourth Division 2023 to a close at First Ground, Polo, here today.

The full 70 minutes ended 1-1 and extra time failed to separate the two best sides, leading to penalties, which Kharang won 5-4.

After a goalless but frantic first half, the two goals were clustered close together in the second.

Laban Taro, Kharang’s top scorer, placed a glorious left-footer into the back of the net from just inside the opposition box in the 55th minute. He finished the season with four goals to his name.

Just four minutes later, however, Bashaiphang Nongspung latched onto a chance after Iatyllilang earned a corner. The ball into the box wasn’t gathered by the Kharang goalkeeper and Nongspung took advantage as it bobbled around to slam it high into the net for his only goal of the season.

In the tiebreaker, Kharang’s steely nerve saw them net all five of their kicks from the spot, while one miss high above the bar was enough to consign Iatyllilang to second place.

Kharang received Rs 30,000 as champions and Iatyllilang Rs 15,000 as runners-up. Both teams plus the two losing semifinalists, Lamlynti FC of Madanlyngkhi and Mawkriah West SC, will be promoted to next season’s Third Division.

Present at the final were all the SSA top brass, including President Eugeneson Lyngoh, as well as the new Meghalaya Football Association President Hamletson Dohling. Before the match, Dohling, who is also Adviser to the Chief Minister, cut the ribbon to formally inaugurate a much-needed ambulance given by the state government to the SSA.

(TSR photo)

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