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Punjab, Mizoram qualify for semis

Chandigarh, Sep 30 (UNI) Local favourites Punjab and mighty Mizoram qualified for the semi-finals from Group B quarter-final league with two victories each in the 31st Sub-Junior National Football Championship for Mir Iqbal Hussain Trophy in Mahilpur today.

Punjab and Mizoram will face each other on October 2 in their last group B quarter-final league match to decide the group toppers.

Today, Punjab got the better of Meghalaya with a 3-1 win and Mizoram outclassed Delhi by a thumping 8-1 margin.

Playing before the home crowd, hosts Punjab scored all their three goals in the first half and Meghalaya had the upper hand in the second half.

However, Meghalaya was able to reduce the margin when they were awarded a spot kick and the noth eastern team made full use of it.

Rain during the 15-minute interval made the conditions more favourable for Meghalaya and it was a fast-paced match between the two sides.

Punjab launched their offense straight from the kickoff.

Gurpreet Singh Senior caught the Meghalaya defence napping in the sixth minute. He himself doubled the margin with another goal in the 14th minute.

Then Gurpreet Singh Junior swung into action by scoring a goal in the 24th minute to give a commanding 3-0 lead to Punjab.

The solitary goal for Meghalaya was scored by Balam Suk who converted a spot kick in a smooth action by putting it very neatly in the right hand corner in the last minute of the match.

In the other match of the day, Mizoram carried too many guns against Delhi whom they handed out an 8-1 thrashing.

In the initial stages the teams looked evenly balanced.

However, once the Mizos got going, there was no stopping to the regular flow of goals, the play field getting wet and slippery notwithstanding.

Mizoram scored two goals each through Lalranunmawia (16th, 67th) Lalrammawia (28th, 54th) and Lallmangaihlaurmkima (30th, 90th).

Lalmachhuana (39th) and Rosiamliana (79th) contributed a goal each to swell the Mizoram's goals' tally.

Michael Choungthu netted the face-saving goal for Delhi in the last minute of the game.

Delhi and Meghalaya have lost both their matches so far and are virtually out of the race for title.


Story first published: Wednesday, October 1, 2008, 12:28 [IST]
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