By Our Sports Reporter
IMPHAL, Nov 26 : India-B which feature only Manipuri riders claimed the third victory and guaranteed their place in the final today in the 5-team 13th Manipur Polo International 2019 by beating USA by 6-4 goals today at Mapal Kangjeibung. The day also saw France hold India-A to a 5-5 draw.
Home favourites, India-B started positively with P Ojit scoring the opener in the 2nd minute before George Huber scored for USA in the 6th minute to draw level. The local side was however not happy with the parity and it was Jacob who helped India-B regain the lead in the last minute of the first chukker.
P Ojit was quick to score his second as soon as the second chukker begin but USA team showed that they were not ready give up easily as George Krabbe and Tommy Huber connected to a goal each in the latter minutes to make it 3-3 and keep the competition wide open.
The competition grew in the third chukker as the two sides look to break the deadlock but ended up with a goal each to finish the chukker in a 4-4 draw.
The fourth chukker was however all about the local team as P Ojit scored twice to underline his riding and scoring skill and steered the team to a 6-4 victory.
The win also ensured Manipur a place in the final and will face England in the final as the remaining three teams have no chance for a comeback in the title race.
Meanwhile lacklustre France capped their campaign with a point by salvaging a 5-5 draw with India-A in the second match of the day. Ram Singh found the breakthrough for India-A in the 4th minute of the first chukker but France's Clement Gosset pulled level and made it 1-1 till the first chukker. France enjoyed a 3-2 lead till halfway as Clement added two more to his team's tally after Dfr Vijay Singh scored for India-A.
In an unexpected turn, India-A overturned the lead with Rajpurohit and Vijay Singh making their effort count in the third chukker which saw France draw nil despite their efforts. India-A, who reluctant to taste their first win looked to close out the game in their favour when Sameer Choudhary found the team's fifth goal to make it 5-3 in the 2nd minute of the decisive chukker but to their disappointment France resurged with Clement pulling back a goal roughly after the third minute before Romain Darroux grabbed the equaliser lately with a beautiful shot.
India-A will take on USA in an inconsequential match tomorrow before finalists India-B and England face off in the last league match.