U20 Men's football nationals: Manipur, Odisha log full points with easy wins

April 23, 2024
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Manipur and Odisha extended their winning runs with convincing victories over Himachal Pradesh

Narainpur (Chhattisgarh), April 23 (IANS) Manipur and Odisha extended their winning runs with convincing victories over Himachal Pradesh (5-0) and Chandigarh (2-0), respectively, in the Swami Vivekananda U20 Men’s National Football Championship being played at the Ramakrishna Ashram Ground here on Tuesday.

With these wins, both teams have strengthened their claims for the lone quarterfinal spot available in Group A. As both Manipur and Odisha now have six points from two matches, the group winners will be decided when the two teams meet on Thursday.

Manipur, however, held a slight advantage as they were better placed on goal difference. While Manipur have scored 11 goals so far and conceded one, Odisha have netted four and are yet to let in any. Manipur, who defeated Chandigarh 6-1 in the previous match, once again showed their dominance in Group A with a commanding 5-0 victory over Himachal Pradesh in Group A.

The first half, however, saw a close contest, with Yendrembam Rohit Singh breaking the deadlock from a spot kick in the 39th minute, thus giving Manipur the lead.

The second half witnessed a series of goals from Manipur. Khullakpam Zahir Khan extended the lead in the 55th minute, followed by Ashangbam Bhaskar Singh finding the net just five minutes later. Zahir Khan netted his second goal in the 63rd minute, and Maibam David Singh completed the tally in the 82nd minute.

Like Manipur, Odisha too showed their dominance in the second match of the day, earning a comfortable 2-0 victory over Chandigarh. They defeated Himachal Pradesh by an identical margin in their previous outing. Right from the kick-off, Odisha seized control of the game and kept up the momentum. They displayed good teamwork, resulting in the opening goal in the 22nd minute.

Suresh Khadia orchestrated a dazzling run down the left flank and with precision, he fed a pass to Anil Toppo, who expertly found the space in the left corner and scored to put his team in the lead. Throughout the match, Odisha maintained possession as their aim remained fixed on extending their lead. In the 70th minute, Suresh Khadia made another valiant attempt to double their advantage, only to see his shot thwarted by the safe hands of Chandigarh’s goalkeeper Jaspal Singh.

However, Odisha’s persistence paid off in the 90+5 minute as Chandramohan Purty sealed the deal with a sublime strike. Manjit Oram gave a measured pass to Purty, who scored with an angular shot.

–IANS

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