Assam, Manipur enter semifinals; Meghalaya teams’ efforts not good enough

56th Subroto Cup Football Tournament

New Delhi, October 6: In what was billed as the clash of northeastern titans, Little Angels Paradise School, Wangbal (Manipur), and Betkuchi High School, Guwahati (Assam) entered the Junior Boys (Under-17) the semifinals in the 56th Subroto Cup International Football Tournament at the Ambedkar Stadium here today.
The Manipur outfit won 2-1 in an evenly contested first quarterfinal while the Assam boys struggled to hold on to their lead against their Meghalaya rivals in the second quarterfinal to register 4-3 triumph. They will now clash in the first semifinal, to be played on October 14. 
Until then, they can enjoy a well deserved week-long rest after the hectic group clashes that began a week ago.
One really felt bad for the way the Army Boys Sports Company, who won every single match authoritatively in the group stage, were sent packing from the tournament. But none can take the credit away from the Manipur boys, who played brilliantly when it mattered the most. 
The Shillong boys should blame themselves for letting the hook off their rivals after having led through Alamgir Sana’s goal in the 19th minute. With pressure on the other side, they should have indulged in hot pursuit to outwit their rivals but wasted enough opportunities. Three minutes from half time, K. N. Rocky found the equalizer to go into the hut for a deserving break. 
On resumption, the teams preferred to buy time in guarding their goals rather than switching themselves on a full attack mode. Yet, A.K. Loyamdanga made most of a chance that came his way in the 55th minute to slot in the winner. And that was good enough to see them through to the last-four stages.
The Assam boys played percentage football with maximum ball possession which ultimately reflected in their score-line. On the other hand, Mawsura RC Upper Primary School from Meghalaya were found wanting in certain aspects. Still, they put up a good fight, as all the northeastern teams do, to stay in the game for quite a long time.
Pranjal opened the account for the Guwahati outfit with a goal in the seventh minute and Kalpa Jyoti consolidated three minutes later with a powerful grounder. Pranjal added one more to his tally before Jovian Star scored in the 27th minute to reduce the margin. 
After the break, Babul Bomiyan scored to make it 4-1 for Guwahati in the 40th minute. But within three minutes Wanbok scored and finally Banman Roy scored in the injury time for the Nongstoin squad. But it was too little and too late in the day.
In a morning second phase of group clash at Ambedkar Stadium, Daftar Nama Kontingen thumped St. Xavier’s Higher Secondary School, Ambikapur (Chhattisgarh) 9-0. The Chhattisgarh outfit was a complete mismatch in the Pool F match. Rizkyabrillia.W struck three times for the winners while Risdi Ando scored twice while good contributions came from other teammates.
At NWC ground, in a Pool E encounter, BSL+2 High School from Bokaro Steel City defeated the Emerald Heights International School, Indore, 9-0. D. Suryakant Singh did the star turn for the winners with four goals while S. Bishorijeet struck a brace. Later, Government Higher Secondary School from Sankhalim (Goa) beat Delhi Public School, Panipat (Haryana) 5-0. Jowel Fernandes scored in the 18th and 60th minute while Gleviteo Miranda, Daniel Lobo and Pradenesh hit the other goals. In Pool G, the AIFF Football Club defeated Bengaluru FC 6-1 with Bedashoor and Raghav scoring a brace each while Bijay struck the consolation goal for the losers. 


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