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Under-16 Nationals: Assam champions

Assam has caused a big surprise by winning the 34th Sub-Junior National Football Championship for the Mir Iqbal Hussain Trophy. In the Under-16 National finals played at the Nehru Stadium in Margao, Goa today the Northeastern side defeated Chandigarh 2...

Assam has caused a big surprise by winning the 34th Sub-Junior National Football Championship for the Mir Iqbal Hussain Trophy. In the Under-16 National finals played at the Nehru Stadium in Margao, Goa today the Northeastern side defeated Chandigarh 2-0 with a goal in each half.

Assam seized the initiative right from the kick-off. After muffing two easy opportunities in the first ten minutes itself, they were eventually rewarded in the 11th minute when Milan Basumatary slotted home from close range after being fed by Lalzeiram Hmar from the right, a one goal lead which Assam maintained till the interval.

In the second half, Chandigarh came back with more purpose and had it not been for Assam goalkeeper Danswrang Basumatary who kept Samuel Lalmuanpuia’s shot at bay in the 50th minute, the story could have been different. Chandigarh pressed hard but were not able to restore parity, the bast chance was Vikram Singh’s long ranger hitting the post. At the other end Assam’s Robin Chhetri failed to finish it off following his solo burst, but then Zeherui Islam sealed the game for Assam as he chipped the ball over rival goalkeeper Zothanmawia following a Rafel Narzary pass.

The chief guest was AIFF Player-of-the-Year Sunil Chhetri, who distributed the prizes while former India team mates Climax Lawrence and Mahesh Gawli were also present on the occasion along with Goa Football Association president Srinivas Dempo.

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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