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Awomi stars as Alianza FC beat New Market XI to enter quarters

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By EMN Updated: Oct 06, 2015 11:38 pm
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Laii Youth & Students’ Organisation rout former champions KVSU

Our Correspondent
KOHIMA, OCTOBER 6

Local favorites and one of the contenders New Market XI had a disappointing exit from the ongoing NSF Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy as they went down to Alianza FC of Dimapur in tie-break in the fourth pre-quarterfinal match played today.
The hope for New Market XI to lift the NSF Trophy will be delayed for another year or more as they suffered a defeat of a match they should have won, had Kezevizetuo Vizo converted the penalty during the stipulated time.
The New Market XI, who has memories of winning many trophies at Kohima Local Ground, is yet to lift the NSF Martyrs Memorial Trophy. It may be recalled that the New Market team has won the Classic Cup couple of times, but they are yet to shine at the NSF Martyrs Trophy, except the runners-up title they achieved some years ago.
The match headed to tie-break as both the teams remained in 1-1 draw in the allotted 70-minutes stipulated time. In the tie-break, the experience of Alianza FC’s goalkeeper Ato Awomi proved vital to send the New Market XI out of the tournament, thereby taking his team to the last eight.The Dimapur team emerged victorious in tie-break by 4-2 as the first two spot kick takers of New Market XI, Stephen Rutsa and their skipper Keneisedelie Chütso failed to convert the penalty. As for Alianza FC, all the first four spot kick takers converted successfully leaving the packed Khuochiezie Stadium to go silent.
Earlier, Alianza FC, who also had a line-up of so many formidable players, took the first lead through their defender Aponthang Yanthan in the 29th minute. Yanthan’s long-range shot was misjudged by the custodian of New Market XI Pitoka Holo who caught the ball, but only to be adjudged as a goal as the ball caught in the air went inside the keeper line. Following the controversial goal which was allowed by the assistant referee, the New Market XI players, including the goalkeeper, protested against the decision with the complaint that the ball didn’t pass the keeper line, but to no avail.
The match turned ugly as both the players of New Market XI and Alianza FC started playing aggressively keeping the main referee and his two assistants with lots of extra load to do during the entire match.
The ugly turn of events also compelled the organizers to make a sincere plea for fair play. Going by the match proceedings, players of both the teams unfairly took down their opponents numerous times. Had the referee being more lavish with cards, many players from both teams could have been penalized for unfair play.
Trailing behind, the effort of New Market XI to fight back was rewarded with a penalty in the additional minutes of the first half after their centre forward Yhunshalo Kemp was taken down inside the 18 yard circle by Alinaza’s defender Daniel Longkumer.
Though Daniel was penalized with a yellow card for the harsh tackle, the first half, however, ended with Alianza FC leading 1-0 as the spot-kick taker Kezevituo Vizo disappointed his teammates with the ball hitting the bar.
Following the missed penalty, one of New Market player was quick to respond to the rebound which got past the keeper in finding the net. However, the goal was called off by the referee as the keeper of Alianza FC had his hand on the ball.
Entering the second half, the New Market XI fought back with a rejuvenated spirit to find the equalizer. 15 minutes into the second half, Rhitsho Mero of New Market XI scored the much needed equalizer in the 50th minute inside the inner D-box, but not before his teammate Velukho Rhakho was penalized with a yellow card in the 44th minute.
Following the equalizer, the Khuochiezie stadium was brought back to live. The big crowd was there cheering for both the teams, and the players of New Market and Alianza FC were reminded by the spectators who have come to witness competitive football combined with fair play.
With the victory today, Alianza FC, Dimapur will next take on another possible contender Khulioh King Tuensang in the quarterfinal on 9th October.
Playing the first match today, the Laii Youth & Students’ Organisation (Poumai), Senapati trounced former champions Kohima Village Students’ Union (KVSU) 1-0 to make it to the quarters.
The match was equally poised till the interval as both the teams failed to deliver. The visiting team from Manipur finally made the breakthrough in the 54th minute as Stephen Shanü got past the keeper with a brilliant touch.
Entering the final minutes, KVSU players vigorously fought back to stay in the game. Their numerous attempts failed to find the net even as they kept pressing the visiting team till the final minute of the match.
Making it to the quarterfinal, Laii Youth & Students’ Organisation will play against defending champions Barak FC, Peren on 9th October in the second match of the day.

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By EMN Updated: Oct 06, 2015 11:38:43 pm