By Our Sports Reporter
IMPHAL, Jul 2 : Imphal, Dibrugarh and Kohima Ranges kicked off their Pool stage campaigns at the NE Zone Inter Range Football Tournament which kicked off today at Football Ground GC, CRPF, Langjing with comfortable wins against their respective rivals.
The inaugural function of the tournament participated by teams from 8 CRPF Ranges across North East States was attended I Lokendro Singh, DIGP, GC CRPF, Imphal; BR Mina, Comdt, CRPF M&N Sector; Somnath Maharana- 2nd IC, 109 Bn CRPF and Ramchandra Jat, 2nd IC, Imphal Range CRPF as dignitaries.
Hosts, Imphal Range overwhelmed Agartala Range by 5-1 goals in the Pool A opener courtesy of a hattrick by Len.
Imphal Range got off to a flying start with Iboyaima netting the opener in the 10th minute of the match before star of the day Zen made his way deep into Agartala's box to double the advantage in the 22nd minute of the match.
Despite the huge lead, Imphal Range were consistent in their attempts and Len who was leading the attack up front hit the team's third in the 30th minute.
Agartala Range who were reeling under pressure for a major portion of the proceedings managed to pull back a goal in the 43rd minute but failed to sustain their revival effort as Imphal Range got two more through Len and Lepcha in the 46th and the 64th minute of the match to ensure the 5-1 finish.
Meanwhile in the Pool B opener, Dibrugarh Range brushed aside Guwahati Range by 3-0 goals thanks to C Zuala (21'), Sunalal Murmu (31') and Nagarajan (48').
The second Pool A fixture of the tournament saw Bongaigaon Range play out a 2-2 draw with Khatkhati Range to share the spoils. Khatkhati Range were in the frontfoot after Salem SK hit a brace including the opener in the 11th and the 25th minute but the Bongaigaon side rallied back and reduced the gap in the 33rd minute through Thangchung Nuga before Goutam Sarkar (48') made the scores level.
Elsewhere, Kohima Range ran riot to notch up a huge 8-0 win against Silchar Range and stay on top of Pool B table.
Open Singh (9', 43', 44') and SS Kujur (13', 46', 48') shone in the match scoring three goals each while TP Zanthang (17', 24') contributed the other two goals to complete the 8-0 demolition of the Silchar side.