(With inputs from @IMinnows and Lalmalsawma, Former Goalkeeper, Aizawl FC)
Armed Veng were crowned champions of the prestigious inter village football tournament – the NECS Cup after defeating Republic Veng in the final. The NECS Cup is organised by the Aizawl District Football Asscociation and features teams from in and around the Aizawl district.
The champions Armed Veng reached the final after getting past Lengpui in a thrilling penalty shootout after the two-legged semi-final ended with a 3-3 aggregate scoreline. The other finalists Republic Veng’s path to the final saw them go up against Ramhlun South in the semis. Republic won the first leg 1-0 away and drew the home tie 2-2 to make it to the final on a 3-2 aggregate score.
FULL-TIME: Republic Veng 0-1 Armed Veng
Republic Veng: RED CARD (23′ Valpuia); Armed Veng: 116′ Lalmuanzova
The final held at the Nilainiah Ramhlun Sport Complex was well-attended by boisterous fans from both sides. There was controversy early in the game after Republic Veng’s Valpuia was sent off in the 23rd minute in what looked like a harsh decision. The ensuing protests meant the game was stopped for nearly half an hour until order was restored and play resumed.
Neither team could break the deadlock in regulation time and the game went into extra time. Eventually, in the second half of extra time, Lalmuanzova would pop up to score the winner with four minutes left on the clock.
As Armed Veng emerged victorious at the final whistle, the supporters from both sides invaded the pitch; eventually, once the crowds settled, Armed Veng were crowned champions.
NECS CUP 2019 AWARDS
Champion: Armed Veng LC, Rs 1,70,000, Trophy & Certificate
Runner Up: Republic Veng LC, Rs 80,000 & Certificate
Fair Play: Republic Veng LC, Rs 10,000
Community Award: Lengpui VC, Rs 10,000
Best Player: Lalnunzama, Republic LC, Rs 5,000, Trophy&Certificate
Top Scorer: Lalnunzama, 8 Goals, Chanmari LC, Rs 5,000, Trophy&Certificate
Semi Finalist: Lengpui VC, Rs 10,000
Semi Finalist: Ramhlun South LC, Rs 10,000