The four quarterfinal matches of the ongoing Mokokchung Inter Ward Football Tournament 2023 played on Monday at Imkongmeren Sports Complex, Mokokchung saw a flurry of goals being scored, including hat tricks and tie-breakers. The day also saw two of the previous three champions knocked out of the tournament.
The evenly poised encounter between Mongsenbai Ward and Penli Ward in the first quarterfinal match of the day set the tone for local football enthusiasts to feast their eyes on. The fate of the two teams was decided via spot kicks after the match ended in a draw at the end regulation time. Penli Ward eventually won the match 4-1 in the shootout. Earlier, Imnatoshi scored in the 37th minute to give the defending champions Mongsenbai the lead but Penli Ward equalized in the 60th minute through Bendangsoba. The match ended in a 1-1 deadlock but Penli Ward ended Mongsenbai’s title defense campaign in the tie-breakers. Shiponglepba of Mongsenbai and Imtitangit and Osa Chang of Penli were awarded yellow cards for foul play.
In the second quarterfinal match played between Majakong Ward and Tongdentsuyong Ward, the latter made a strong statement of their intent to lift the trophy as they hammered in 5 goals past the Majakong custodian. Tongdentsuyong had their best possible start they could have ever imagined as Tarepnungsang open the account with the first of his hat trick in the very first minute of the match itself. He scored his brace in the 9th minute and completed his hat trick in the 47th minute. Two successive goals in a span of 2 minutes by Tongdentsuyong misery to Majakong, a match they will want to forget. Wapongtemjen and Lipoksunep scored in the 57th and 59th minutes respectively as Tongdentsuyong routed Majakong 5-0 to knock them out of the title race.
In what can be termed a clash of champions, 2021 winners Artang Ward once again proved their superiority over the winners of the inaugural edition of the tournament, Arkong Ward, in the third quarterfinal match. Supongmeren of Artang Ward tormented the venue’s neighborhood team as he single handedly dismantled the Arkong defense to send three past their custodian Jongjem. He completed his hat trick with his goals in the 19, 32 and 48 minute marks. John of Artang and Imtisungkum of Arkong were booked in the match. With Arkong and Mongsenbai out of the tourney, Artang remains the lone former champions in the fray, eyeing to lift the trophy for a record second time but they are still two wins away from that result.
In the fourth and last quarterfinal match, Sangtemla scraped through to the semifinals after beating Lijaba Lijen Ward by a solitary goal that came from the boots of Meyasenba in the 46th minute. Imenukshi of Lijaba Lijen and Sangtemla skipper Opangtemjen were shown the yellow card in the match.
18 APRIL 2023, 2:00 PM
PENLI WARD VS TONGDENTSUYONG WARD
19 APRIL 2023, 2:00 PM
ARTANG WARD VS SANGTEMLA WARD