Lijaba Lijen and Sangtemla ward both registered comeback wins in identical fashion to keep their campaigns alive at the ongoing 4th Mokokchung Inter Ward Football Tournament played at Imkongmeren Sports Complex, Mokokchung.
In the first match of the day, Lijaba Lijen suffered a major setback when forward Mademshiba drew first blood for Kumlong Ward in just the third minute of the Pool C encounter. After losing their first match to neighbours Majakong Ward in their first outing, it looked like Lijaba Lijen was staring at the exit door from the tournament till the end of the first half. However, Akumsangba found the equalizer in the 46th minute while Rongsennungba scored the winner in the 56th minute to keep Lijaba Lijen’s hopes alive in the tournament.
This was Kumlong Ward’s first match in the tournament and will next face Majakong Ward on 15 April. Pool C is still wide open as all three teams in the group have the chance to make it to the next round but Lijaba Lijen’s fate would be determined by the outcome of the Kumlong-Majakong match on Saturday.
The second match of the day also marked a 2-1 come-from-behind win for Sangtemla Ward against Tongdentsuyong Ward. In what could be arguably one of the fastest goals ever scored in competitive football in Mokokchung, Tongdentsuyong striker Tarepnungsang scored the first goal just 35 seconds into the match. Tongdentsuyong, however, could not capitalize on the advantage they enjoyed very early on as Sangtemla Ward dominated most of the rest of the match.
The score line remained 1-0 in favour of Tongdentsuyong at the end of the first half but the match after the break belonged to Sangtemla Ward. Veteran striker R Achi found the equalizer for Sangtemla Ward in the 39th minute. Lanuwapang then scored the second goal for Sangtemla Ward in the 51st minute to not only win the match but also book their quarterfinal berth from Pool D with two wins in as many matches.
Tongdentsuyong will now face the other team in the group, Yimyu Ward, on Saturday to decide who will join Sangtemla Ward from the group in the quarters.
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