CCpur, Feb 11
After weeks of exciting and dramatic results supplemented with top-class football, the much fan-fare Raja Goukhothang Guite Football Memoriam 2020 will be drawing into conclusion today when district football giants United Khawzim Brothers goes head to head with Manipur State League giants Sagolband United for what is considered to be the greatest final showpiece taking place at the iconic Lamka Public Ground, Churachandpur in the current decade.
Considering the quality of both finalist teams as well as the results they have produced leading to today’s exciting final, no side has emerged clear favourites to grab the Rs. 3 Lakh cash prize on offer as the tie is highly in the balance. Moreover, the grand final fixture become the first ever all-Manipur State League final fixture hosted by Churachandpur district
The Final Match cum Closing Ceremony will be graced by Shri Th. Biswajit Singh, Hon’ble Minister (Power, Works, Industries, DIPR, RD & PR, Govt. of Manipur), Shri Vungzagin Valte, Hon’ble Chairman MTDC & MLA Thanlon and Ms. Amrita Sinha, IPS, SP-Churachandpur as Chief Guest, Functional President and Guest of Honour of the grand programme respectively.
Despite enduring a faltering start to the campaign which seen them collecting just one point in their first two group games, United Khawzim Brothers produced great comeback as they saw a sudden upturn of result which earned them a last-gasp entry into the quarter-finals. In the quarter-finals, they thrashed Zenhang Lamka YC 5-2 courtesy of a hat-trick by Luntinmng Haokip and in the semi-finals, they trounced Bungmual YC 4-1 to enter final. During this process, they recorded a total goal-score of 14 while conceding 7 thus averaging 2.9 goals per match with Luntinmng Haokip accrediting 5 goals falling just one goal short of leading scorer Jerry Pulamte, who has 6 goals while UKB’s Lamthianlal Vaiphei has also scored 4 goals and is still in the race for the top-scorer award._
Meanwhile, Sagolband United have entered the tournament from the knock-out round for being an outstation Manipur State League team having introduced themselves with a penalty shoot-out victory over SYMROPIA FC after the evenly contested match ended 1-1 and in the quarter-finals, they edged past FC Zotal 2-1 before needing another penalty shoot-out victory over Konsham FC in the semi-finals after a disappointing goalless draw to book a place into the final.
Looking at the results of Sagolband United, it is evident that they have been struggling in terms of goal-score as they have an average record of just 1 goal per match. However, despite looking short of goals, they have produced eye-catching performances on their way to the final and earned strong public appeal thanks to their perfect rhythm of slick-passing game
With reputed coach Tongminthang Haokip, who guided FC Zalen into the final of the 10th Manipur State League 2015, United Khawzim Brothers have one of the most coveted coach of Manipur while in W. Khogen, who won the Hero I-League with Minerva Punjab FC, Sagolband United have one of the most successful coaches in the Country.
With United Khawzim Brothers having put their fate in the right path by finally breaking the jinx of their quarter-finals curse and making their first final appearance after 10 years at this iconic venue, many believes UKB are favourites to lift the prestigious trophy but the performance of Sagolband United and dynamism of their eye-catching football brand has earned the trust of many to consider them favorites to win the tournament. So, under such tag, both teams will be playing a historic final that will be remembered for long._
Final match to be kicked off after the closing ceremony which is scheduled to begin at 11:00 am
Pinky Salam, a young and enthusiastic Reporter is working with Imphal Times since 2018. Apart from being a reporter, he is a musician and plays Guitar in his spare time. Pinky is a resident of Sagolband Salam Maning Leikai, Imphal and lives with his parents. He can be reached at [email protected]