Mizoram thwart spirited Meghalaya to lift second T Ao trophy

SHILLONG: Mizoram won their second Dr T Ao Memorial Football Tournament after a tight final contest against Meghalaya, which went to penalties after full time and extra time ended with the teams 1-1 in Aizawl on Saturday.

The hosts came through in the shoot-out 3-1 over their opponents.

Mizoram were also 2012 champions, while Manipur have won the other three editions of the tournament. This was Meghalaya’s best result in the North East football competition.

Given the strength of the Mizoram team, it was a commendable effort from Meghalaya to push one of the strongest teams from the region to the distance.

Mizoram got the early advantage by scoring through Biaktea in the fifth minute of the contest, though Samson Nongrum responded for Meghalaya in the 60th minute in front of a packed crowd.

Thereafter neither team could break the deadlock and the finale went to penalties where Meghalaya were bested.

Nongrum claimed the top-scorer award, while Manipur’s Prem Kumar was named best goalkeeper.

Mizoram bagged the fair play award, while their footballer Zothanpuia was named as Player-of-the-Tournament.

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