Army Green inflicts second loss on NorthEast United in the 131st IndianOil Durand Cup
Army Green – 3 (Lallawmkima 9’, 55’, Somesh Kothari 24’)
North East United- 1 (Dipu Mirdha 90+1)
Guwahati, Sunday, August 21, 2022: Guwahati, Sunday, August 21, 2022: Army Green, the
last Services team to win the tournament back in 2016, inflicted the 131stIndianOil Durand Cup’ssecond
consecutive loss on NorthEast United FC (NEUFC), running out 3-1 winners at Guwahati’s Indira
Gandhi Athletic stadium in a Group D encounter. One of the greatest Services footballers of recent times,
Greens skipper PCLallawmkima, got a brace of goals while Somesh Kothari struck the other, in a game
completely controlled by the Army team. Dipu Mirdha got a consolation for NEUFC in stoppage time.
It was the Greens first game of the tournament and they now join Odhisa FC (OFC) with a 100%-win
record in the Group. OFC had beaten NEUFC 6-0 in the first Group D game on August 18, 2022 and
Sudeva FC of Delhi had played out a 1-1 draw against Kerala Blasters in the second.
All 47 matches of the 131st IndianOil Durand Cup are being telecast LIVE on Sports18 1 SD &
HD and Sports18 Khel and also being LIVESTREAMED on the Over the Top (OTT) platform
Lively start and relentless attacks
Both teams began in lively fashion in the first half but if was the Army men who were decisive in the
middle. They drew first blood in the 9th minute through their captain whose run was found perfectly by
an overhead pass from Sochin Chhetri. Lallawmkima probably in an attempt to reach out and receive,
ended up chipping keeper Nikhil Deka beautifully from a close range.
The Greens stepped up the pressure post the goal with the young NEUFC side finding it difficult to
contain the continuous attacks. Sochin Chhetri and Roel Lepcha were brilliant in the middle while
Gautam Singh was proving to be a menace all across the pitch.
The pressure resulted in the second goal. Somesh started the attack from the right and cushioned the
ball to an overlapping Chabin Rabha whose shot was saved by the goalkeeper but the rebound fell kindly
back to Somesh, who headed it into an empty net.
The drinks break saw some rejuvenation from NEUFC as they created chances which could not be
converted by Dipu Mirdha. It was just flashes by the Highlanders as the 2016 Champions continued to
pile on the pressure for the rest of the half.
Experience and Physicality prevails
The experience and physicality of the Army men were too much to handle for the youngsters from
NEUFC as they continued to attack. The Greens increased their lead in the 55th minute through
Lallawmkima yet again, who deservedly bagged the Man of the Match. A link up play from the left by
Somesh and Gautam found the skipper unmarked at the far post, who just had to tap in.
Army Green continued with possession dominance and created chances while the Highlanders could
not produce any clear-cut openings and all their attempts were straight at the Army keeper Puia, who
did not have to work much to keep them away.
A consolation did come the Highlanders way in injury time when Dipu Mirdha got to the end off a
through ball from Alfred, who did fluff a couple of chances in the match himself. The goal sent the
crowd into a frenzy.
Next matches of Army Green and North East United
Army Green Football Team will face Sudeva Delhi FC on August 25th 2022 and NEUFC come up
against the Kerala Blasters on August 27th, 2022.
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