January 8, 2009 1:39:53 am
Defending champions Manipur overcame Haryana 2-0 to retain the title in the 54th National School Girls Under-19 football tournament at the Cooperage on Wednesday.
Manipur scored once in each half in an exciting final that had its fair share of thrills.
Bindyaram opened Manipurs account in the 18th minute after connecting a long cross from the right wing by Ychandrajim,while Bijeta added to the tally in the 40th minute to seal the victory.
Haryana got off to a good start and put Manipur on the defence in the first quarter. As the Haryana forwards went on the offensive and tried hard to break the deadlock,the Manipur defence survived anxious moments.
While Haryana missed their chances,Manipur came close to again scoring on two back-to-back occasions just before the half-time.
On the first occasion,Ychandrajims header was blocked in front of the goal amidst a crowded Haryana defence,and Bindyarams shot off the rebound was saved by goalkeeper Rajai Sharma.
Trailing 0-1 at half-time,Haryana kept their hopes alive with a strong second half challenge but the equaliser eluded them until Bijeta sealed their fate and left little time for a recovery.
Earlier,in the 3/4 play-off tie,Goa,who shocked last years runners-up Assam in the quarter-finals,beat Delhi 3-2 via the tie-breaker after regulation time ended goalless.
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