CCPUR, Jul 15: FC Zotal today lifted the first Niangzen Trophy after beating Koite Youth Union (KYU) during a summit clash of the tournament in front of a packed audience at Lamka Public Ground.
Zotal's Paumuan Khongsai scored the deciding goal in the 90th minute as both sides locked in an unprecedented tie till the 89 minutes. Despise Zotal having won their group stage match with similar scoreline, today's match was better defended by KYU. Had they manage to take the match to a tie breaker, they will surely have the upper hand as they have booked their final slots through a penalty shoot-out both in the quarter and semis - sending home two heavy weights - the UKB and SYMPORIA.
Though they lose the title, KYU were hailed for their feat as they are forged purely of local talents. The cash incentive of Rs 1 lakh they received from the organiser too was flattering when compared to Rs 1.5 received by the champions.
FC Zotal meanwhile have a better ride to the final as they topped the group stage and won their next slots mostly in the normal time. They were consistent through the final and eventually lift the trophy they deserve.
Director YAS Armstrong Pame; Jt Director, SAI Imphal Lianminthang Tonsing and the trophy donor Thanlon MLA Vungzagin Valte graced the match and eventually handed over the trophy and other awards.
Addressing the event, Pame said that the government will start the process to lay artificial turf at Lamka public ground as soon as it receive assurance from the district authorities that the ground will be use exclusively for football.
Khallai FC were adjudged the Best Disciplined Team (CDSA Fair Play Award), while Sebastian Thangmuansang Zou of FC Zotal bagged Player-of-the-Tournament award.
With 10 goals in 5 matches, Peter Seiminthang Haokip of SYMROPIA FC walked away with the top scorer award, while Lenjapao Kipgen of Koite Youth Union was given the best goal keeping award.