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Mizoram Boys, Manipur Girls win U-21 football titles in penalty shootouts

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Northeastern neighbours Mizoram Boys and Manipur Girls annexed Under-21 football gold medals recording dramatic identical 4-3 penalty shootout victories in the Khelo India Youth Games here.
 
Mizoram Boys beat Kerala and Manipur Girls beat Tamil Nadu to claim the gold in their respective categories at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex on Saturday.
 
The Mizo boys had the better of exchanges, but were unable to convert that into goals. They did exhibit a lot of aggression but were made to wait for the penalty shootouts to beat their rivals after the matches ended goalless in the regulation period.
 
But their penalty takers served them well. In the shootout, Mizoram’s scorers were Lalmawizuala, Lalmuanawma, Vanlalnghenga and Lalnunzama, while Fahad Aliyar, Arjun Kaladharan and Gokul scored for Kerala.
 
In the Girls U-21 final, Th. Babysana Devi, Sultana, W. Rajnibala Devi, and H. Daya Devi  converted their kicks for Manipur, while Kowsalya Siva Samy, Karthika and Pavithra found the target for Tamil Nadu.
 
Earlier, in the Boys Under-17 final, Karnataka, despite dominating the proceedings most of the time, had to wait for the penalty shootout to put it across Punjab 4-2 after the teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time.
 
In the match for the third place, Aman Khanna’s brace enabled Maharashtra to beat a spirited Kerala 2-1 to claim the Under-17 bronze medal.
 
In the Girls Under-17 final,Jharkhand outpaced Odisha 2-1 to win the Girls U-17 Football title while Manipur ousted Kerala 2-0 to bag the bronze.
 
The Karnataka Boys Under-17 team played a dominating game against Punjab in the final but their strikers could not convert the chances that came their way. Karnataka surged ahead through Uzen Chhojzang who capitalised on the defensive lapses and shot home a fine goal (1-0) in the 13th minute.
 
After taking the lead, Karnataka piled up more pressure on Punjab but could not increase the lead due to the poor finishing.
 
However, 19 minutes into the second session, Punjab launched a counter offensive against the run of play. That earned them a penalty and S. Lotjem made no mistake in converting the spot kick to draw parity (1-1). There were no more goals.
 
After that the teams failed to break the deadlock leading to the penalty shootout in which Karnataka emerged triumphant.
 
For Karnataka, C S Khwairakpam, Chanambam R.Singh, Sumit Kumar Puran and Alfred Lal Routsang converted their spot kicks.
 
For Punjab, only Mangal Ram and S.Lotjem could find the target while M. Singhson and Akash M  failed to beat the goalkeeper.
 
For the third place, Aman Khanna scored in the 30th and 76th minutes to help Maharashtra beat Kerala 2-1. Anandhu N reduced the margin for the losers in the 81st minute.
 
In Girls (U-17) final, Jharkhand were put ahead by Sunita in the 12th minute and then Salina made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute. Sarita reduced the gap for the losers, Odisha.
 
Manipur beat Kerala 2-0 for the third place. Usham (37th) and N. Priyangka Devi (44th) were the goal getters for the winners.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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