Komets and Khanglai FC to clash in final
Kohima, November 9
Debutant visiting team from Manipur, Khanglai Football Club, and the reigning champion of 14th NSF Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy, Kohima Komets, will clash on November 11 for the championship title of the prestigious Royal Gold Cup organized by Royal Club Kohima here in the Local Ground. Playing an exciting second semi-final match filled with swift professional attacks and counter attacks from either side, debutants Khanglai FC thrashed defending champs Aizawl Football Club by 2 goals to nil.
The fourth minute witnessed Aizawl missing their best opportunity as Khanglai custodian Mangkholen (21) fisted away a sure goal shot from inside the box by PC Vanlalmangaihzuala. During the moment making a solo effort H Lalnunzira crossed the ball towards Jonathan, who tactfully gave it for unmarked Vanlalmangaihzuala, but custodian was alert enough to thwart their attempt.
In the 15th minute, it was Aizawl custodian Eddie Zorammawia making an excellent leap to push the ball nearly entering into the nets off a superb corner kick by Khanglai skipper Momon (7).
In the 29th minute Minthang (13) took the first ball strike off a through ball from Haojakam (9) but only to be neatly saved by Eddie. In the injury added time too it was Khanglai forward Haojakam making a long range left footer target shot and Eddie fumbled with the ball but was cleared by defender and the first half ended in a competitive goalless draw.
In the second half, it was the defending champs Aizawl taking on to more of the attacks and in the process a foul by Khanglai defender Janggoulen (2) resulted in a direct free kick in the 56th minute. Taking the shot, Vanlalremkima directed the ball towards the penalty area, which was headed towards the nets by Malsawmkima but custodian Mangkholen was quick to push it for a corner.
Two minutes later, Lalremruata made a nice pass inside the box for Jonathan, but his powerful shot went wide of the second post. In another disappointing moment in the 68th minute Vanlalruata failed as his shot from inside the box despite being free would not find the target.
The 73rd minute saw Khanglai making their first decisive move of the second half, and they succeeded in scoring the lead. Building the combination, skipper Momon moved ahead with the ball and pushed it for Haojakam, who dribbled past for Thangjoylen only to chip the ball over custodian Eddie for a welcome goal against the defending champs.
Khanglai doubled their score in the 82nd minute as Thangjahao managed to snatch the ball from defender Lalrinawma and confirm their entry into the finals.
Two minute before the end of stipulated time, Lalnunzira tried a desperate attempt from the left out but the ball went behind for a goal kick.
In the six minute injury added time, the champs managed to minimize the margin through Lalremruata but the assistant referee had his flag up for an off-side and finally they had to bundle back home conceding the two goals against Khanglai FC.
Khanglai players Paomin Sei (18), Janggoulen (2) and Thangminlum (8) were penalized with a yellow card each during the 31st, 56th and 79th minute of play.
Earlier playing the first semi-final on Friday, Kohima Komets defeated arch rivals Barak Football Club, who are not only the defending champions the first edition of Nagaland Premier League but also the runners-up of the last year’s edition of the Royal Cup.
Komets, current champs of the 14th NSF Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy, defeated Barak FC by a margin of one goal. It was Barak making the first attack within the eighth minute through Bungthot Lamkang but custodian Peisuidibe (1) was alert enough to hold him back. Two minutes later, Komets Yhunshalo (9) brilliantly crossed the ball towards the six yard area from zero angle, even beating custodian P Hari but none of his colleague were inside the box for the finishing touch. Eric Aningo Obiora (11) of Komets was penalised with a yellow card in the 15th minute for unsporting behavior.
The 24th minute could have given Barak the lead as Keneisedelie managed to collect a weak back pass by defender Simon and penetrate inside the rival camp but his shot struck the outer nets. In another exciting moment, Kivi Sumi (7) took a long range attempt for Komets, but his shot slide the cross bar with spectators making exclamations during the 27th minute.
However, three minutes later Yhunshalo be pulled down inside the D Box by Barak defender cost them heavily as the match referee Sumanta Dutta pointed his hands towards the penalty spot. Taking the shot Eric didn’t make any mistake bringing home the first lead. Komets would have had the second lead in the 40th minute, but Yhunshalo’s header off Samuel R Hmar (16) didn’t have power and was easily collected by Hari.
The fag end of the first half show, Barak FC trying to return to the game with Bungthot making a solo effort from the left out and striking the target but Peisuidibe managed to thwart it while in the additional four minutes saw substitute player Graceson losing a free opportunity from inside the box as he struck the ball wide off target.
Before the half-time, Yhunshalo and Samuel, both Komets player, were penalized with yellow card each in the 34th and 43rd minute of play.
The breather half commenced with Kivi being penalised with the fourth yellow card of the match, but he compensated in the 54th minute as rival custodian Hari failed to collect his powerful 35-yard direct free kick and the rebound was pushed into the nets for the second lead by Yhunshalo almost confirming their victory.
Conceding two goals, Barak tried to minimize the margin through Bungthot in the 74th minute from inside the D Box but only to miss the target.
Three minutes later, Komets almost found the third lead as Bamdibe (14) long cross was nicely headed for the target by Yhunshalo but this time Hari made a magnificent leap on the left to neatly collect the ball.
In the 85th minute, Barak missed another scoring opportunity as Graceson’s left footer went over the bar for a goal-kick in the counter attack Komets too failed as Yhunshalo and Eric despite Hari falling down and giving a free net were unable to score.
Barak FC efforts gave them the face saver in the 88th minute as Graceson found the nets off a rebound, but it was already too late as the injury added time of five minutes was also no use to find the equalizer.
The final match of the 22nd Royal Gold Cup between Khanglai FC and Kohima Komets on November 11 will be played at 1 p.m.