Imphal, March 10: Lady Luck and a spirited play by skipper O. Pritam helped North Imphal Sporting Association collect three crucial points from their match against All Moirang Football Association to make it to the top of the 2nd Manipur state soccer league tally.
The match at the Sekmai ground today was an evenly fought one with the North Imphal boys depending more on luck to stamp out their opponents, who displayed some spirited moves and almost managed to run away with a draw.
Moirang boy L. Ratan gave his team the first lead 22 minutes into the first half. The North Imphal team, however, replied the very next minute with an equaliser. Skipper Pritam made a clean run in the left to pass on the ball to Th. Shanker, who scored the equaliser. The score remained tied at 1-1 at half time.
In the second half, both the teams seemed to be whiling away time. With few minutes left before the final whistle, the North Imphal boys picked up momentum but had to wait till the 87th minute to seal their win. Kh. Ramesh sent a flying header pass to Pritam, who edged past three Moirang defenders to score the match-winning goal.
In another match, Tiddim Road Athletic Union defeated Manipur Police Sports Club 2-0. Lunminlal Khongsai scored both the goals. In the third match, Youth Welfare Club, Thambalkhong, got the better of Kakching Football Club 3-1.
Southern Sporting Union, on the other hand, restricted United Sporting Association to a 1-1 draw.
With two rounds of the league still to go, North Imphal are saddled on 45 points, followed by North Eastern Re-Organisation and Cultural Association with 42. Tiddim Road Athletic Union and Southern Sporting Union are tied at 39 points each.
while Manipur Police Sports Club are fifth with 34 points.