Both sides started on an even footing till the end of the first half before Manipur broke the deadlock with the first goal in the 45th minute, to head to the breather with a slender 1-0 lead. After the break, the Manipuri men came back strongly to push in another goal, thanks to a successful penalty corner in the 65th minute.
Trailing by a couple of goals, Assam had moments near the net, but failed to penetrate Manipur’s strong defence despite numerous attempts. Manipur came back with a third goal in the 87th minute to seal the match in their favour.
Assam and Manipur are in Group 1 with Mizoram, while hosts Meghalaya are in Group 2 with Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Tripura, unfortunately, has had to back out of both men’s and women’s football, while Nagaland has only sent their men’s team.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the U-17 Assam women’s football team will open their campaign against Manipur. In the women’s category, Manipur, Assam and Sikkim make up Group 1 and Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh are placed in Group 2.
The football competitions at the 2nd NEOG began on Monday, three days before the opening ceremony of the week-long competition on November 10. The decision was taken in consideration of the players and their need to have rest days in between matches.
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