IMPHAL, May 11 (NEPS): Nagaland Police Veteran Football Team has for the second time lifted the Trophy of the prestigious 13thChallenger Cup 2011 by defeating Football Club Imphal (FC Imphal) by 1-0 in the thrilling final match held here at the historic Polo Ground on Tuesday.
In the first half, both sides could not score and they were equally strong. But as soon as the second half started, Senti Jamir of Nagaland hit the ball to the net in the 38th minute.
Best defender’s award went to Noklu from Nagaland team, while his mate Khonchamo was receiving “best goalkeeper award.” The fair play award went to FVWA team while L Surchandra of FC Imphal was awarded best player of the tournament.
The main attraction of the final match was Nagaland DGP K Kire’s joining the Nagaland team in the second half amidst cheers from the crowds. Although he could not score any goal, his dribbling confused many opponents. His participating in the match also boosted morale of the players of the Nagaland team.
This is the second time Nagaland veteran football team had lifted the prestigious Challenger Cup Trophy. Earlier in 2009, they lifted the trophy and in 2010, they could not take part in the Cup.
Visibly happy Nagaland DGP while replying queries from media persons after the tournament said he was extremely happy to play the match here at the historic Polo Ground and his main objective in taking part was to “encourage each other.” “It’s not that our players are better than Manipur’s, they (Manipur players) have also played well,” he commended.
He also conveyed his happiness to the organizers for inviting Nagaland Police veteran football team in this prestigious Challenger Cup.
Chief Guest of the final match, Samananda, ADGP, Manipur lauded the excellent performances of Nagaland police veteran team right from the beginning till the final match. He also congratulated Nagaland DGP’s joining the match which, he described, would encourage many veterans to continue and maintain regular play. He also expressed hope that if they continued with the present spirit, they would be able to take part in the international veteran tournaments.
Manipur Sports Minister Jayantakumar, Manipur Olympic Association President Bijoy Koijam, MLA, many high ranking civil and police officials and many sports personalities were among others who attended the prestigious 13th Challenger Cup trophy.