Imphal, Nov 27: Manipur and England won today in the Manipur polo international played at Imphal polo ground.
Two undefeated teams in the 13th Manipur Polo International, Manipur and England had an opportunity to size up each other as they met for the first time. Manipur emerged victorious carving out a 6-4 win.
Both the teams started out cautiously as if trying to probe the strengths and weaknesses of their opponent. The stress was on not allowing the opponent score, so much so that both the teams drew a blank in the 1st chukker. England was the first to open its account with George Amor scoring in 2.38th minute of the 2nd chukker. However, in the latter half of this chukker, Manipur found its rhythm and fired in three goals through Leishemba, Jogendro and Jacob to take a 3-1 lead.
Manipur continued to dominate the proceeding in the 3rd chukker also, as they scored three more goals. The first of these was a great individual effort from Jacob who tapped the ball from his own half towards the English goal. In the meantime, Will Smith scored for England, reducing the lead to 4-2. However, within seconds, Abung Khuman fired in a beautiful shot from a very acute angle and Jogendro also scored towards the end to make it 6-2.
The English side scored immediately after the start of the final chukker when Ben Eley converted a 30 yards penalty carried over from the last chukker. About a minute later, Will Smith’s shot found the target to make it 6-4. The English team made several assaults on the Manipur citadel after this goal but failed to score any more goals. The match ended at 6-4 in favour of Manipur.
In another match played today, USA defeated India A 9-3. The India A team started very positively scoring two goals through Narendra and Anant Rajpurohit while successfully defending their goal against the USA attack. In the 2nd chukker though the English scored two goals, both of them from penalty hits by Tommy Huber, India A manage to hang on a 3-2 lead as Anant scored in the 5.59th minute.
From the 3rd chukker on, it was the USA or rather Tommy Huber all the way. USA added six goals in this chukker out which Tommy Huber scored five of them. India A could only watch this exemplary show from Huber as it failed to add any more goals to its tally. Tommy then added another goal to make it 9-3 for USA and take his goal tally in this match to an incredible eight goals. USA winning 9-3 against India A.
There will be no match on Nov 28. The final of the 13th Manipur Polo International 2019 will be played on Nov 29, 1 pm between Manipur and England. (UNI)