| The midfield chaos after the controversy with the referee at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati on Friday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, Sept. 13: Navajyoti Club were denied the Abhishek Motors R.G. Baruah Trophy Guwahati Super Division football League title at the end of the last league match against defending champions Northeast Frontier Railway Sports Club at Nehru Stadium here today.
An allegedly controversial referee decision in the dying minutes left the tie incomplete as the affected team refused to continue playing and agitated spectators started throwing missiles at the ground.
Navajyoti Club led by a solitary goal throughout.
The referee’s decision to award a spot kick, that too after a heated argument with NF Railway players in the additional minutes of the regulation time, saw the match come to a premature end.
Jessy Lalruatpuia’s free kick from around 30 yards found Jessy Vanlalmuana in on the prowl inside the box. However, the latter’s strike found the safe hands of NF Railway custodian N. Ingo Singh in the ninth minute.
NF Railway forward Jelendra Brahma attempted to score with a powerful strike which saw Subhajit Barman fumbling, but managed to save in the 19th minute.
Sibra Narzary’s free kick from the edge of the box saw the ball rebound off the crossbar to find Duleswar Rabha, whose strike was saved by Navajyoti skipper Vanlalzuidika.
It was in the 45th minute that saw Navajyoti breaking the deadlock and taking the all-important lead in the crucial match.
K Lalchhanhima’s shot from around 32 yards was well anticipated by glovesman N. Ingo Singh who tried to fist it away. He, however, could not lay his hands on it properly and the ball found the back of the net.
Switching sides, both teams lacked the flare although the railmen kept on searching for an equaliser, which would have enabled them to lift their second consecutive title.
The railmen led the tally with 19 points with Navajyoti placed third with 16 points.
NF Railway replaced keeper N. Ingo Singh with K. Bijen Singh after the lemon break.
Duleswar Rabha failed to place it into the net through a header off a fine swirling free kick by Sibra Narzary in the 54th minute.
Chayaram Basumatary’s powerful strike from inside the box saw yet another spectacular save by the Navajyoti custodian in the 85th minute.
Organisers Guwahati Sports Association could not arrive at a decision this evening.
“We might not be able to reach a conclusion tonight because the football secretary (Sajal Sengupta) himself had to be rushed home due to health problem. We will try to announce the result by tomorrow,” said GSA general secretary Ibocha Singh.