Shillong, Feb 23: A shock result saw 10-man Assam beat Meghalaya 2-1 in their Group A match of the 77th National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy 2023-24 final round in Itanagar today.

All three goals came in the first half, with Assam taking the lead via Milan Basumatary (8′) before a Sheen Sohktung equaliser (32′). Joydeep Gogoi then put Assam back into the lead in the 45th, which they were able to hold on to through the second half despite being a man down for most of the period.

There was a late scare when Assam forward Dipu Mirdha appeared to have been knocked unconscious in a collision with Meghalaya goalkeeper Lionel Daryl Rymmei but he was able to get to his feet following intervention by the physio.

Coach Khlain Pyrkhat Syiemlieh made just one change from the loss to Services two days ago, starting with Baiaikara Swer in place of Dameki Khongstia.

It was a nightmare start for Meghalaya as a back pass to the goalkeeper saw Lionel smash it straight into Basumatary and the ball rebounded straight into the back of the net.

Meghalaya were by far the stronger team but had to wait until more than half an hour into the contest to level the scores. Shaiborlang Kharpan was fouled by a raised arm of an opponent in the penalty arc and Sheen took the resulting free-kick, low past the wall and the keeper.

A shot on the run by Dawanchwa Challam took a deflection and hit the upright later on but it was Assam that went into the break with the lead after Gogoi, who had come on as a substitute less than 10 minutes before, found the target with a powerful shot from a corner kick.

Ten minutes into the second half, Birkhang Daimary, Assam’s goalie, was found guilty of handling the ball outside the box, resulting in a direct red card that reduced his side to 10 players.

However, despite having a man advantage, Meghalaya couldn’t find another goal. Although they made plenty of attempts, not enough of these were on target to bother Assam.

With two defeats, Meghalaya are bottom of the group while this was Assam’s first win of the final round.

Meghalaya will next play Kerala on Sunday at 2:30PM.

Meghalaya’s squad today: 
Lionel Daryl Rymmei (GK), Wanboklang Lyngkhoi, Lukas Syngkli, Donborlang Nongkynrih, Overkindness Lyngdoh Mawnai, Dawanchwa Challam (sub Kitboklang Pale 69′), Nikelson Bina (sub Dameki Khongstia 60′), Baiaikara Swer (sub Damonlang Pathaw 21′), Sheen Sohktung, Chesterpaul Lyngdoh (sub Nelson Rymbai 60′), Shaiborlang Kharpan

Facebook Comments