Manipur beat Gujarat 2-0 in Santosh Trophy National Football Championship

Malappuram, Apr 21 (Football News) Manipur bounced back from their previous match defeat by beating Gujarat 2-0 in a group B match of the Santosh Trophy National Football Championship here on Thursday.

After shocking Services in their first match, Manipur had lost to Odisha in their previous game. But they rebounded from that setback to put themselves in a strong position in pursuit of a semifinal berth.

Manipur dominated the proceedings, stringing together neat passes in the midfield to mount attacks on the opposition. Their right side flank was particularly productive with Singsit and Somishon Shirak constantly dropping dangerous balls into the Gujarat box.

Gujarat relied on the counter attacks and they were the ones who created the first real chance of the game in the 15th minute.

Captain Brajesh Yadav gave a brilliant ball to Jay Kanani upfront. The youngster ran free of his marker and was through on goal, only for his first touch to betray him.

It was enough for an onrushing Md Abujar to parry. The goalkeeper's rebound fell kindly to Mohmadmaruf Ismail Mulla, but from a tight angle, crowded by bodies, the forward shot wide and Manipur escaped.

Manipur started the second half much like they ended the first, dominating possession and passing neatly in midfield.

Three minutes after resumption, Jenish Singh played Sudhir Laitonjam through into the box on the right. The winger, instead of delivering a cross, chose to shoot from a tight angle. His shot hit the top corner of the net and Manipur, finally, had the lead.

From there, Manipur took complete control of the game. They kept the pressure constantly on Gujarat, shifting flanks and creating chances at regular intervals.

In the 67th minute, Gujarat wilted under pressure but in the most extraordinary way.

An innocuous cross was cleared away by Gujarat's defence only to fall on the head of Shirak on the edge of the box. The forward headed the ball back into the box to no one in particular. Siddharth Nair messed up a routine clearance to instead volley the ball into his own goal and give Manipur a two-goal advantage. 

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News Source : PTI


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