TIRUCHI: Mizoram blanked Puducherry 4-0 in a Cluster III league match to get off to a flying start in the National football championship, for the Santosh Trophy, at the St. Joseph’s College ground here on Sunday.
Mizoram went into an attacking mode right from the beginning and could have secured the lead within the first five minutes but for some good saves by the Puducherry custodian Mouttouramane.
Rohminthanga gave finishing touches to a pass from skipper Zaidinmawia Hmar to put Mizoram ahead in the 16th minute. And Je Je Lalpekhwa made it 2-0 a few minutes later.
Puducherry’s best chance of scoring came at the half hour mark but Manikandan’s strike hit the post.
Mizoram repeatedly raided the rival defence in the second session and Lalmuanpuia increased the lead in the 55th minute.
Disappointingly, Puducherry hardly made any attempts to score. Hmar struck from the spot in the last minute to complete the scoreline.
In another Cluster III match, Jammu & Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh played out a 1-1 draw. J & K drew first blood when Taufeeq in the 42nd minute.
Madhya Pradesh fought hard in the second half and equalised in the 85th minute through Athoiba Maitai.
The results: Mizoram 4 (Rohminthanga 16, Je Je Lalpekhwa 23, Lalmuanpuia 55, Zaidinmawia Hmar 90) bt Puducherry 0.
J&K 1 (Taufeeq 42) drew with Madhya Pradesh 1 (Athoiba Maitai 85).
Monday’s match: Goa vs. Jharkhand (4 p.m.).