IMPHAL, September 1: MPSC striker I Nilakumar today became the second player to strike a hattrick at the ongoing 7th Manipur State League championship, enroute to a win against USA, Khurai. The first hattrick of the season was scored by ESU, Wangkhei striker Lamminthang Touthang against SSU, Singjamei on August 25.
MPSC defeated USA by 3-1 with the help of Nilakumar’s hattrick at the Mapal Kangjeibung.
It may be mentioned that MPSC had lost its first match of the league by a lone goal against AIM, Khabam Lamkhai.
MPSC coming strong after their first match defeat controlled the ball throughout the match.
The first goal of the match came in the 42nd minute from O Premeshwor for USA.
The goal seemed to inspire Nilakumar as he scored the first of his hattrick just one minute after in the 43rd minute. Nilakumar headed home the ball off a pass from Golmei.
The first half ended with the same score line of 1-1.
The Golmei-Nilakumar pairing seem to click for the team as the two paired again to score the second for MPSC, with GOlmei making the pass and Nilakumar sending the ball home in the 61st minute of the match.
The last of the hattrick came in the 73rd minute off a pass from Thangminlian.
John L Hmar of USA was cautioned in the 2nd minute of starting play while K Priyokumar of MPSC was cautioned in the 67th minute.
Speaking in the post-match media briefing, USA assistant coach, Laishram Engam Singh said his players lack maturity and had no concentration during the match which was showing on the field.
He further lamented that his players failed to implement in their games today what they had done in their practice matches.
The assistant coach also said the MPSC side played well and it was showing that they were the better team. The MPSC players had rhythm among them which his players were lacking which was another reason for their loss, he said.
Meanwhile, he further appealed to the state association to organise double-leg basis for such a big league as the MSL which is the top league in the state. This would enable the teams in their next meeting, he said.
MPSC coach, Kh Sanaton Singh said MSL needs sponsors to take the level of the league and added the participating teams and the AMFA should try to attract sponsors and spectators for the state league.
In case the MSL fail to find sponsors, the league would remain stagnant at the present stage.
Meanwhile coming back to today’s match, he said though his team had won the match, the team was not up to the mark.
He said the long period between the teams first match and today gave the team enough time for recovery which helped the team a lot.
The USA team is also a good team; however, MPSC had the upper hand of experience players.
He said he will make his team play much better in their next match after going through what went wrong today.