Manipur cruise into Santosh finals

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Imphal, May 26 (): Thoiba Singh’s strike from the spot in the second half of the extra time helped Manipur book their place in the finals of the Santosh Trophy 2010-11.

In the first semifinal played on Thursday at the Nehru Stadium, Assam, former champions Manipur and Services failed to break the jinx in the regulation time, however Manipur, who looked a better side out of the two, managed to notch up the winner in the 11th minute of the second half of the extra time.

It was Manipur who dictated the terms right from the outset and could have taken the lead at the stroke of half time, but to Manipur’s despair Tikem Singh failed to convert two easy chances.

Manipur continued to pile on the pressure on their opponent and came close to break the deadlock on a couple of occasions in the second session of the play as well, but an alert Services goalkeeper, Robikanta Singh stood as the only hope curtailing numerous Manipur’s attack.

With the scoreline reading 0-0 after the end of 90 minutes, extra time came into play with Manipur once again showing their intentions clearly right from the word go.

Once again Tikem Singh and Jimmy Singh failed to find the target.

However, Manipur’s hard work paid off when Thoiba Singh converted from the spot. Services defender P. Sumesh was caught handling the ball inside the box resulting in a penalty in favour of the Manipur.

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