Khelo India: Mizoram to meet Punjab in boys’ football final

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) Mizoram underlined their class, thrashing Delhi 5-0 in the semi-finals to set up a high-voltage title clash with Punjab in the boys’ football competition at the Khelo India School Games here on Wednesday.

Delhi’s defensive strategy back-fired as they were trailing within the first three minutes as Mizoram winger F. Lalnuntluanga scored with a powerful left-footed strike from outside the box.

Punjab had beaten Haryana 3-1 in the other semi-final on Tuesday. Punjab are unbeaten in the tournament so far.

The girls’ final will be contested between Manipur and Haryana. Manipur beat Odisha 3-1 in the semis on Wednesday, while a day earlier Haryana thrashed West Bengal 8-0.

With Delhi’s Abhishek Kumar tightly man-marking prolific goal scorer Lalnunzama on the right, Mizoram coach HC Zarzoliana changed his tactics to attack the four-man Delhi defence from the left flank.

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The gambit yielded glory for the north-eastern side as midfielder H. Zawnhmingthana pounded the ball into the top right corner in the 33rd minute to double their lead.

In the second half, Delhi came out with a positive approach but Mizoram’s F. Lalnuntluanga took advantage of a loose ball and initiated a dangerous counter-attack which resulted in the third goal in the 49th minute.

After seven minutes, Mizoram star Lalnuntluanga netted home the fourth with a clean finish to crush any hopes of a Delhi comeback.

Lalnunzama took his goal tally to eight in the tournament after he latched onto a goalkeeping error and hammered the fifth goal for the visitors in the 74th minute.

–IANS

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