BY SEIMINLUN KIPGEN
Ten-man United Khawzim Brothers blanked KIYC 2-0 to enter semis, Paokhongam Haokip scored an incredible 5 goals to steer Sagolband United into the semi-final, KLASA FC and SSU also advanced as Muvanlai Athletics were eliminated.
QUARTERFINAL 1: KLASA, Keinou 2-0 Muvanlai Athletics
Earlier on Monday, Napoleon Lunminlen Haokip inspired KLASA FC of Keinou, Bishnupur to a 2-0 victory over Muvanlai Athletics. After a goalless first-half, the match came to life midway through the second-half when Kaiminlen Haokip was sent clean through on goal, but the Muvanlai Athletics striker failed to hit the target after rounding off an advancing KLASA goalkeeper.
That missed opportunity turned fatal for Muvanlai Athletics as Napoleon Lunminlen Haokip eventually opened the deadlock 10 minutes from time with a brilliant solo effort cutting inside and beating a host of defenders. A powerful strike by L. Monish from the edge of the penalty box in stoppage time sealed the victory for KLASA FC as they emerged 2-0 winners to set up a semi-final clash with Sagolband United.
QUARTERFINAL 2: AFC, Thoubal 1-1 (5-6)p SSU, Singjamei
Suraj Singh opened the scoring for SSU in the 12th minute with a powerful volley. AFC would find the equaliser in the 73rd minute through Sahidur Rahman who scored from close range.
At the end of normal time, the teams went into a penalty shootout and after the teams scored four out of five penalties in the first round, sudden death ensued. Suraj would again put on his scoring boots and converted his penalty helping Southern Sporting Union edge it.
QUARTERFINAL 3: Sagolband United 6-0 AIM, Khabam Lamkhai
In the third quarterfinal played on Tuesday at the Artificial Turf Ground, Khuman Lampak, former ZFC and FC Zalen striker Paokhongam Haokip scored an incredible five goals. The in-form Paokhongam Haokip’s five-goal haul was followed up by Patrick Kamei’s penalty earning Sagolband United a comprehensive 6-0 win against a toothless AIM.
They will take on KLASA FC in the semifinals on 28th January at 11:45 AM.
QUARTERFINAL 4: United Khawzim Brothers 2-0 KIYC, Kshetri
A long drawn out 14th edition of the Manipur State League is fast reaching its climax and in yesterday’s fourth quarterfinal, 10-man United Khawzim Brothers of Churachandpur made history by becoming the first club from the district to enter the semi-final of the state premier club competition following a 2-0 win over KIYC – Kshetrigao.
Mangkholen Kipgen opened the scoring for UKB in the 17th minute. However, in the 35th minute, utility midfielder Manglienboi Neihsial was sent off for a second bookable offence. Despite their numerical disadvantage, United Khawzim Brothers extended their lead in first-half stoppage time as Lalminlun Neihsial scored with a brilliant free-kick from a distance.
The second-half saw KIYC pouring forward, but they were unable to turn their numerical advantage in their favour as resilient United Khawzim Brothers showed strong character to keep their two-goal lead intact.
With this win, UKB enter the semi-finals where they will meet 2012 champions Southern Sporting Union of Singjamei on January 28, 2022 at 01:45 PM.
SEMI-FINALS: January 28, 2022 (Friday)
KLASA FC vs Sagolband United at 11:45 AM.
Southern Sporting Union vs United Khawzim Brothers at 01:45 PM.
Venue : Artificial Turf Ground, Lamlong, Khuman Lampak, Imphal.