Assam versus Manipur match in progress | AIFF

Former champions Manipur delivered a commanding performance, securing a resounding 7-1 victory against Assam in the quarterfinal match of the 77th National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy at the Golden Jubilee Stadium in Itanagar, on March 5. Thus Manipur booked their berth in the semifinal.

Within the first 20 minutes of the match, Manipur surged to a formidable 4-0 lead, effectively diminishing any hopes of an Assam comeback. Despite Assam managing to salvage some pride with a second-half goal, Manipur’s dominance remained unchallenged.

Wangkheimayum Sadananda Singh was the star of the show, scoring a hat-trick in the 11th, 16th, and 70th minutes. Additionally, skipper Phijam Sanathoi Meetei (4’), Ngangbam Pacha Singh (19’ – Penalty), Maibam Deny Singh (82’), and Imarson Meitei (88’) contributed to Manipur’s impressive tally. Joydeep Gogoi scored the lone goal for Assam in the 64th minute.

Manipuri captain, Phijam Sanathoi Meetei, opened the scoring in the 4th minute, seizing an opportunity from Sadananda Singh’s pass outside the box. This marked his 11th goal in the 77th Santosh Trophy for the 2023–24 season, making him the leading scorer. Sanathoi Meetei’s early goal set the tone for Manipur’s dominance, with his attacking prowess continuously troubling Assam’s defense.

The relentless pressure from Manipur paid off as Sadananda Singh scored twice in quick succession, first with a diving header in the 11th minute, followed by another goal in the 16th minute. Ngangbam Pacha Singh extended Manipur’s lead to 4-0 in the 20th minute with a successful penalty kick, awarded after a foul on Sanathoi Meetei inside the box by Urjoy Brahma of Assam.

Assam managed to pull one back in the 64th minute through Joydeep Gogoi’s impressive finish, but Manipur continued their dominance. Sadananda completed his hat-trick in the 70th minute with a header, and Deny Singh added another goal in the 82nd minute. Imarson Meitei completed the scoring in the 88th minute, sealing Manipur’s emphatic victory to step closer to winning the Santosh Trophy.

Manipur 7

(Phijam Sanathoi Meetei 4’, Wangkheimayum Sadananda Singh 11’,16’, 70’, Ngangbam Pacha Singh 19’(P), Maibam Deny Singh 82’, Imarson Meitei 88’)

Assam 1

(Joydeep Gogoi 64’)

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