| Bhawanipore FC players at Nehru Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, Jan. 9: Bhawanipore Football Club, Calcutta annexed the 62nd Bharat Ratna Lokopriya Bordoloi Trophy Football Tournament title edging past Aizawl Football Club by a solitary goal in their maiden final appearance in the historic tournament at Nehru Stadium here today.
In a keenly contested final, it was Aizawl FC who had a better share of the ball although they failed to find the desired yield. Manjit Singh’s 57th minute-goal was enough to pour water on Aizawl FC’s hopes of lifting the coveted trophy. Bidemi Ayeni Daniel having received a pass from Rajiv Ghosh on the left flank attempted at the target but failed to trouble the Aizawl FC custodian MS Dawngliana in the second minute.
Aizawl FC’s Rohningthanga’s powerful strike from the edge of the box failed to find the target in the ninth minute as the ball headed way above the crossbar.
The Calcutta side came close to breaking the deadlock of a 23rd minute corner but M.S. Dawngliana put in a fine save to stop his side from conceding a goal. J. Prasad with the flag kick provided the right elevation for Deepak whose header was acrobatically fisted out for another corner, which too failed to yield their required result.
Aizawl FC skipper Ricky Lallawmawma from the midfield fed Malsawmfela a fine chance but the latter’s strike from inside the box missed the target by a whisker in the 26th minute. B. Zoramthara, on having received the ball of a deflection of an opponent defender, shot way above the target in the 35th minute.
With the referee signalling for the start of the second half, it was Aizawl FC with frequent inroads although it was Bhawanipore which ensured the required result out of their minimum opportunities.
Bidemi Ayeni Daniel, making his way from the right flank into the box, set the ball rolling for Manjit Singh who makes no mistake in leaving the Aizawl custodian gasping with a powerful strike to ensure their lead in the 57th minute. With a goal cushion Bhawanipore preferred to play it safe with a compact defence line up.
Aizawl FC nearly equalised in the 73rd minute. However, Rajiv Ghosh denied it with a fine goalline save. Malsawmfela, on having received the ball off a corner kick, shot on target, only to witness Ghosh making a goalline save.