MAHILPUR, OCT 4 :Hosts Punjab and Mizoram will lock horsn for the Mir Iqbal Hussain Trophy when they challenge each other in the final of the 31st Sub-Junior National Football Championship-2008 here on October 6 at 2.30 p.m. Punjab have beaten Mizoram by this week by 2-0 in the quarter-final group B league.
Punjab toiled hard to overcome a tough challege from Goa before winning by 1-0 and Mizoram got the better of powerful Assam by 2-1 in the semi-finals played today at the Principal Harbhajan Singh Stadium. Punjab should have won their semi-final with a handsome margin. However, their forwards, specially Sarabjit and Rajbir, were erratic in their shooting. Their strikers misdirected their shots after entering the box on a number of occasions.
Sarabjit Singh wasted a golden opportunity in the first minute itself as his shot over the bar with goal goalkeeper Shilton Fernendez standing in one corner.
Sarabjit muffed three more opportunities to score. Rajbir Singh was the second biggest culprit today. He also frittered away three to four chances. Harpreet Senior and Junior also were wayward in their shooting.
The first half could hot produce any result.
After a barren first session, Punjab scored the all-important goal in the 46th minute. From the right flank, Amritpal Singh sent a minus. A goal mouth melee ensued and Sukhwinder Singh pounced on the rebound off the Goa goalkeeper Shilton Fernendez and gently pushed the ball across the goalline.
Goa played with short passing and pattern weaving game. However, the robust Punjab players did not allow them to have a close look at their goal.
The second semi-final between Assam and Mizoram was played at a hot pace. Mizoram edged out formidable Assam by a 2-1 margin. It was Assam who forged ahead through Hitler in the seventh minute.
This however fired up the Mizoram squad who sent all out with a vengeance. Mounting a relentless pressure, Mizoram neutralised the lead in the 17th minute through Lalnunmawia. This ebullient striker from Mizoram again rose to the occasion and snatched the match-winner in the 64th minute.
Punjab Sports Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike will be the chief guest and present the Mir Iqbal Hussain Trophy to the winners..