Shillong: Manipur and Mizoram claimed the bronze medals in the football events at the 2nd North East Olympic Games 2022 on the penultimate day at the MFA Turf in Polo Ground here Tuesday.
Manipur were involved in an intense battle with Nagaland in the U-21 men’s third place contest and came through 4-3 winners.
In the corresponding U-17 women’s match, Mizoram overpowered Sikkim 3-1.
Manipur scored first through S Doungel in the sixth minute but the very even match saw Nagaland equalise through Vhoto in the 12th. Manipur, who lost to Meghalaya in the semifinals, then edged ahead again in the 33rd minute through M Simte and held onto the lead until the break.
Early in the second half Nagaland, who were defeated by Mizoram in their semifinal, restored parity again via Thulunso (51′) but they conceded two quick goals to Manipur’s N Binode Kumar Singh (54′) and Doungel (62′) again. This time Manipur were able to hold on until just before the final whistle when Nagaland’s Neisede (90’+1) gave them a glimmer of hope but that proved to be the last goal of an enthralling game.
Later, all four goals were scored in the first half itself, with Lalrinmawii (10′, 45’+1) picking up a brace, while Gladys added another for Mizoram. Simran Gurung was Sikkim’s lone goal scorer. Though Sikkim came close in the second half, the scoreline did not change.