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U20 men's football nationals: Telangana see off Sikkim to set up QF clash against Manipur

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U20 men's football nationals: Telangana see off Sikkim to set up QF clash against Manipur

Narainpur (Chhattisgarh), April 26 (Ajit Weekly News) Telangana came from behind to beat Sikkim 2-1 and qualify for the quarter-finals of the Swami Vivekananda U-20 Men’s National Football Championship at the Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Ground on Friday.

Telangana thus finished Group H at the top of the table, with three wins in three. Sikkim ended up in second place with six points.

Telangana will meet Group A winners Manipur in the quarter-final on Sunday.

In the winner-take-all clash, Sikkim made the best possible start as they took the lead in the sixth minute after a series of defensive errors from Telangana. Sikkim skipper Akash Sundas took full advantage of a poor clearance which fell kindly onto his path before he tucked the ball home from point-blank range.

But Telangana’s response was swift. They equalised just three minutes later thanks to a stunning 20-yard free-kick from defender Sahil Tamang. His right-footed curling strike went around the wall and into the top corner, leaving Sikkim goalkeeper Pranub Limboo with no chance even at full stretch.

After a blistering start with two goals in the first nine minutes, the contest cooled off a bit as both teams proceeded with caution. The onus was on Sikkim to find a winner as a draw would’ve been enough for Telangana to go through due to their superior goal difference.

But Sikkim failed to find that elusive winner and Shaik Sadaan’s 76th-minute strike for Telangana killed them off. And it was a rather embarrassing goal to concede in a do-or-die game like this, with Sikkim custodian Limboo taking too much time with the ball at his feet as Sadaan punished his casual approach by nicking it off him and rolling it into the empty net.

–Ajit Weekly News

hs/bc


News Credits – I A N S

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