Shillong/Guwahati, March 19: A late goal by Sukanta Jamatia helped Tripura hold Manipur to a 1-1 draw in their group B match of the 4th T. Ao Trophy Northeast football championship at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong today.
In what would be the best match of the tournament so far, with both teams showing superb football skill, the players created openings for themselves but the brilliant show of agility by both the goalkeepers denied conversions in the first session. In the second half, Manipur began to dominate and their efforts paid off when T. Raju’s long throw was headed home by Md Sohail in the 62nd minute.
Conceding the goal, Tripura started to press hard, missing on a few occasions and in the 75th minute, Sukanta Jamatia's volley off a calculated cross from the left flank found the back of the Manipur net.
Last evening, hosts Meghalaya tamed Arunachal Pradesh in the floodlit inaugural match. In the first half, it was the hosts who shared a major slice of possession.
What the home fans were waiting for came in the 28th minute when Teiborlang Siangshai gave the hosts the deserved lead when he had the ball in the box and struck the ball over the top past the goalie into the net.
Meghalaya doubled their lead in the 53rd minute when Milancy Khongstia found the net with a rebound off his own shot from the left flank that was shunted away by the opponent custodian.
Meghalaya’s third goal came from Niwan O. Gatphoh, whose powerful shot off a free kick just four yards from the box left the opponent keeper gaping in the 87th minute.