Shillong, Dec 3: Meghalaya won the Sub-Junior National Football Championship final 3-0 over Arunachal Pradesh in Kalyani, West Bengal, on Tuesday.
Samchaphrang Lato (52′), Samlang Rympei (90’+4) and Teibok Nongrum (90’+5) scored the three goals to give Meghalaya, who were runners-up in 2017, the title.
Both North East sides were unbeaten right through the final round and that set up a fantastically close title match. A goalless half had its highlights, but Meghalaya were able to break the deadlock early on the second half.
It came about after Baniatyllilang Mawkhiew moved into the Arunachal box and passed the ball to Colinsalmon Lyngdoh. Lyngdoh then crossed to Lato, who was blocked off his first attempt by a defender, with the ball leaping up into the air. Lato missed the ball completely on the rebound but still had a third chance and he made no mistake with the last attempt, connecting with his boot to score.
Arunachal, who were runners-up last season, were dangerous on a couple of occasions after this, getting a good opportunity in the 67th minute, which was cleared in a hurry and then Meghalaya goalkeeper Berith Nongbri made a good save from a long-range free-kick.
Wallambok Shangpliang then turned provider for Rympei, who smashed the ball in from inside the box, while Nongrum then completely took the game away from Arunachal with a stunning free-kick.