The kicks went to plan until Mizoram’s skipper V Laltanpuia missed. Manipur then scored the next one and Mizoram’s Lalchhuantlinga missed the second to send the Manipur players rushing forward in celebration.
Manipur’s fans also erupted, while Mizoram’s were crushed, although they did give their players a round of applause.
Earlier, both the teams were locked at a 1-1 during the normal stipulated time.
Meanwhile, the crowd who turn up for the final match were treated by an electrifying contest with both Mizoram and Manipur playing to their full potential. Manipur started off the match in style as they nearly scored in the 2nd minute
of the match after M Deepak took a strong right footeer which was brilliantly save by the Mizoram custodian J Van Lal Hriata.
Seven minutes later Manipur got another oppurtunity to score after a powerful strike by Md Sohail from 30 yards away missed the goal by a whisker. Manipur were able to dictate the pace of the match with their accuracy passing
during the intial part of the first half forcing the Mizoram players to fall back.
During this period of play, Manipur got several openings to score but failed to capitalise. Despite Manipur having maximum of the ball possession, Mizoram looks dangerous in the counter attack. The Mizoram team in fact
on numerous occasions came very close to score.
Mizoram were able to lift their game in the later stages of the first half thanks to the huge crowd support who came to support the team. Mizoram finally broke the deadlock in the 39th minute when a cross from the right flank found
F Lalriinpuia who made no mistake to put the ball into the net.
After being a goal down, Manipur fought very hard to get the all important equalising goal in the dying minutes of the first half. The first half finally ended with Mizoram leading by 1-0 goal.
In thier quest for the equalising goal, Manipur continues to press forward from the word go in the second half. The Manipur team were denied the chances to score thanks to some excellent defending on the part of the Mizoram
After controlling the game in most part of the second half, Manipur finally equalised in the 76th minute after L Gogocha fired a shot from outside the box which saw the ball sailed into the net. Five minute later, Manipur got a golden
oppurtunity to go into the lead after powerful left footer by KH Naoton saw the ball went over the cross bar.
Both teams pressed to take the lead and as the seconds ticked away, any goal would have almost surely been the winner. However, despite a couple of half chances for each team, full time ended 1-1 and the match
entered 30 minutes of extra time, keeping the large crowd in their seats.
While some of the teams in the tournament had seemed sluggish over the full 90 minutes, both finalists displayed a high level of fitness as they continued strongly in extra time without seeming to be tired at all.
Gogocha made the best play for Manipur in the 13th minute of extra time by racing up the right flank. Twisting around a defender, he ran into the box but lost his footing and the ball as well.
Neither side could score and it looked more and more likely that we would be forced into a penalty shootout.
Imran Khan tried to break the deadlock in the 17th minute of extra time with a cheeky back heel kick after receiving a cross just inside the Mizoram box, but the keep was ready for it.
Mizoram then earned a free kick halfway up the opposition half close to the touch line, and a long ball picked out a Mizoram player who headed the ball just over the crossbar.
As the clock approached 120 minutes, both sides appeared to be tiring, with mistakes creeping into their game. N Sushil almost pulled off a blinder with an attempt on goal from 10 yards outside the box
that narrowly missed the upright. The match was finally decided via a tie-breaker.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya striker Niwan-O-Gatphoh emerged as the top scorer of the tournament while Manipur defender T Ajith Singh was declared as the ‘best player’.