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U20 men’s football nationals: Mizoram, Meghalaya win

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Narainpur, May 14: Mizoram moved to the top of Group F in the Swami Vivekananda U20 National Football Championship when they picked up their second consecutive win at the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama ground on Tuesday.
While the hard-fought 3-2 win over Maharashtra took Mizoram to six points from two matches, Meghalaya’s win over Rajasthan by an identical margin later in the day opened up the possibilities of three teams ending up with six points each, on the concluding day of the group matches on Thursday.
Both Meghalaya and Rajasthan now have three points apiece, and the lone spot in the quarterfinal from this group could only be decided after Mizoram meet Rajasthan and Meghalaya play Maharashtra on Thursday.
Contrary to their first match against Meghalaya, which they won by a big margin, Mizoram had to fight hard to win against Maharashtra.
The losing side came back to draw level twice before Mizoram clinched the issue with an 87th-minute goal.
They now have six points from two matches. The half-time score was 1-0 in favour of Mizoram.But Maharashtra gave a tough time to Mizoram on field.
The second match of the day between Meghalaya and Rajasthan was almost an encore of the first; the only difference was that Rajasthan managed to erase a two-goal deficit in the second half before being done in by a late goal by Meghalaya.
Meghalaya, who led 2-0 at halftime, opened the scoring in the 28th minute through Richie Kharbani, who shot home from inside the box.
Iashanbok Buhphang made it 2-0 in the 44th minute with a deft shot from the top of the area.
Not to be discouraged, Rajasthan, who beat Maharashtra in their first group league match, gave a good account of themselves in the second half with two goals from Sameer Gurung and Aashish Sarkar in the 51st and 73rd minutes, respectively.
But Meghalaya, desperate for full points, increased pressure and had the last laugh when Wilbeson Jaba found the target in the closing stages. (IANS)

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