Mizoram showed why it is the team to watch out for in National football at the moment. It opened its campaign in the men’s football event of the National Games with a convincing 2-0 victory over Bengal, which had won gold in the last edition of the Games held in 2011.
Mizoram’s relentless attacks and all-round skills were just too good for Bengal at the Corporation Stadium on Monday.
Mizoram succeeded in putting early pressure on the Bengal goal taking the lead in the 15th minute. Receiving a pass from R. Malsawmtluanga, David Lalrinmuana cut swiftly into the box, went past a couple of defenders and placed the ball over the advancing Bengal goalkeeper Raju Ganguly.
In the second half, too, it was the red shirts of Mizoram who showed more urgency. With B. Zoramthara, Albert Zohminmawia and Rohminthanga, coming in for the injured Malsawmtluanga, making life difficult for the Bengal defenders, a second goal was always in the air.
After missing out on a few scoring opportunities, Mizoram finally made it 2-0 in the 71st minute through Laldampuia.
In the other Pool-A match, Punjab scored a comfortable 3-0 win over Services.
Punjab went ahead when Ravinder Singh curled in a 30-yard free-kick in the 37th minute. In the 41st minute, Ajay Singh finished off a move that also featured Harjinder Singh Sr. and Sajandeep Singh. The final nail in the Services coffin came from Rajbir Singh in the 81st minute.
The results: Pool A: Punjab 3 (Ravinder Singh 36, Ajay Singh 41, Rajbir Singh 81) bt Services 0; Mizoram 2 (David Lalrinmuana 15, Laldampuia 71) bt Bengal 0.