Manipur, Odisha easy winners in Swami Vivekananda U20 Men’s NFC

AIFF media team

NEW DELHI: Manipur and Odisha got off to a good start in their Swami Vivekananda Men’s U-20 National Football Championship as they defeated Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh respectively at the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Ground, in Narainpur, Chhattisgarh, on Sunday, April 21, 2024.

Big win for Manipur

Chandigarh 1 (Manveer Singh 45+1′)
lost against
Manipur 6 (A Bhaskar Singh 16′, Nicky Tongson 64′, Y Rohit Singh 73′ p, K Zahir Khan 76′, 86′, 90+3′)

A sublime second-half performance against Chandigarh saw Manipur take top spot in Group A and score a 6-1 win. At half time the match was tied 1-1.

Ashangbam Bhaskar Singh (16′) gave Manipur an early lead against Chandigarh, who pulled back through a Manveer Singh goal in the stoppage time of the first half (45+1′). The second half was all about Manipur as Nicky Tongson (64′) put them ahead again before Rohit Singh doubled the lead from the spot (73′). Khullakpam Zahir Khan found some joy late in the match and scored a hat-trick in the final 15 minutes to give his side a huge goal difference advantage.

Odisha pip Himachal

Himachal Pradesh0
lost against
Odisha 2 (Dhaneswar Beshra 47′, Suresh Khadia 76′)

It was a much tighter ordeal between Odisha and Himachal Pradesh in the evening as the former took the three points with a 2-0 win. The match remained goalless until halftime.

Odisha came out quickly in the second half, producing an intricate combination play to quickly get past Himachal’s midfield and defensive lines. Agastin Munda, Suresh Khadia and Anil Toppo were all involved in the combination play but Dhaneswar Beshra (47′) rounded off the move with a side-foot curler into the far post.

Suresh Khadia (76′) turned scorer and doubled Odisha’s lead with less than fifteen minutes to go when he pounced on a defensive error from Himachal and fired the ball home.

With this result, Manipur and Odisha are both on three points. The former are ahead on goal difference. Himachal and Chandigarh rank third and fourth respectively.

The Group H action begins on Monday, April 22, 2024, in Narainpur, where Sikkim will take on Andaman and Nicobar at 7:30 AM IST, while Telangana will face Bihar at 4:00 PM IST. Both matches will be streamed live on the Indian Football Youtube channel and TGS.