By Our Sports Reporter
IMPHAL, Sep 7 : Ningthoujam Abungton Singh scored twice to help Manipur earn a 3-1 comeback win against Tripura in the Group A opening match of the North East Zone Qualifiers for Sub-Junior Boys National Football Championship 2019-20 at Khuman Lampak Imphal today.
Tripura took the lead early in the 5th minute through Bimal Reang against the run of the play but midfielder Ningthoujam Abungton closed the gap in the 40th minute off a penalty stroke to make it 1-1 draw till the break. The two sides started looking out for the breakthrough soon after the restart but lack of accuracy and intensity held them on the same level till Ningthoujam Dhanaraj made his way and unleashed a power-pack shot to hand the State team the lead in the 57th minute.
The goal helped Manipur took over the rein as the lads mount more pressure on the Tripura side with a barrage of shots and it was Abungton again who found the target in the 79th minute to make his statement clear. Tripura did get some chance in the latter part to cut the gap but the State boys stood well to denied their rivals the recovery path and eventually inch a step closer to the final round.
The State lads will meet Arunachal Pradesh in the last Group A league match.
Assam will open up the Group B league campaign tomorrow against Meghalaya at 3 pm.