The two Northeast states continued their dominance at the first School Games.
Mizoram underlined their class thrashing Delhi 5-0 in the second semi-final today to set up a high-voltage clash with Punjab in the final to be played on Thursday at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Host Delhi’s defensive strategy back-fired as they were trailing within the first three minutes of the game with Mizoram’s winger F. Lalnuntluanga finding the back of the net with a thunderbolt left-footed strike from outside the box.
Mizoram will now meet Punjab in the final. Punjab beat Haryana 3-1 in the first Boys Semi-finals on Tuesday.
The Girls final will be contested between Manipur and Haryana. Manipur beat Odisha 3-1 in the semis on Wednesday, while a day earlier Haryana thrashed West Bengal 8-0.
With Delhi’s Abhishek Kumar tightly man-marking prolific goal scorer Lalnunzama on the right, Mizoram coach HC Zarzoliana changed his tactics to exploit the four-man Delhi defense from the left flank. The gambit yielded glory for the north-eastern side as midfielder H. Zawnhmingthana pounded the ball into the top right corner in the 33rd minute to double their lead.
In the second half, the blue brigade came out with a positive approach but Mizoram’s F. Lalnuntluanga took advantage of a loose ball and initiated a dangerous counter-attack which resulted in the third goal and Lalnunzama’s first in the 49th minute.
After seven minutes, Mizoram’s star player of the match F. Lalnuntluanga netted home the fourth with a clean finish to topple any hopes of Delhi’s comeback.
Lalnunzama took his tally of goals to eight in the tournament after he latched onto a goalkeeping error and hammered the fifth goal for the visitors in the 74th minute to hand Delhi a forgettable evening.
Mizoram will look to continue their top form when they take on a strong Punjab side, who are also unbeaten in the tournament so far.
Girls – Manipur beat Odisha to reach final
Manipur, who were unbeaten in league stage, stayed that way as they beat Odisha 3-1 in the semi-finals to move into the title clash.
For Manipur, Babysana pumped two goals in the sixth and 34th minute of the match. Manipur led 2-0 at half time as Odisha’s goalkeeper, Jyotsna Toppo, saved many a possible goal.
Manipur got their third goal through S. Lynda Com in the 82nd minute. Odisha’s lone goal came through a penalty conversion in the 85th minute when captain Sushmita Tanty found the target.
Manipur will meet Haryana in the Girls final,. Haryana moved past West Bengal in the first semi-finals on Tuesday.