BY SEIMINLUN KIPGEN
The 14th edition of Manipur’s premier club competition – the Manipur State League, which has been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and underwent suspension on a couple of occasions is all set for the final today when KLASA FC of Keinou, Bishnupur District take on Southern Sporting Union of Singjamei, Imphal West at the Artificial Turf Ground, Lamlong, Khuman Lampak, Imphal.
Having wrapped up the group phase as group winners, KLASA FC carried their momentum throughout the knock-out stages and make today’s final without too much trouble thanks to their collective array of talent. They start as favourites to win the title.
Having been pipped to the title by NEROCA FC last time around, the fate of KLASA FC today will largely depend on in-form Napoleon Lunminlen Haokip who won the man-of-the-match award in the quarterfinal win over Muvanlai Athletics and in the 2-1 win over of Sagolband United in the semi-final. He scored three goals in these two matches.
Meanwhile, for Southern Sporting Union, today’s final is a good opportunity for them to win the title after 10 years – they last won the league in 2012. Since then, they have fallen off the title race and haven’t mounted a challenge for the honours up until this season.
However, they showed great resolve this season on the road to the final with a penalty-shootout win over AFC in the quarters and a hard-fought 1-0 win against United Khawzim Brothers in the semis.
While KLASA FC are eyeing to create history of their own as they look forward to winning their first title, SSU will be looking to clinch their second.
The 14th Manipur State League Final will kick-off today, February 3, 2022, at 1:30 PM and it will be streamed on Kanglei View’s Youtube channel.