Statesman News Service
Siliguri, 5 December
Favourites Mahananda Sporting Club of Siliguri won the Kiran Chandra Memorial Night Football Tournament 2013 beating defending champions Siliguri Ulka Club 5-4 via tie-breaker in the final at the Kanchenjungha Stadium in Siliguri last evening. The two teams were tied 1-1 after regulation time.
The winners were awarded the Kiran Chandra Winners Trophy and a cash prize of Rs 20,000 while the runners had to be content with the Kedarmal Runners-Up Trophy and Rs 15,000.
With two games in two days, it was perhaps unsurprising that Mahananda got off to a slightly slow start. Then it asserted itself with the winner of the Best Scorer and Best Midfielder of the Meet titles Ujjwal Howladar firing in Ashit Hazra&’s cross from the left in the 26th minute.
At the start of the second half, Mahananda was quick to take stock. Ujjwal seemed to be at the heart of every attack of seasoned trainer Raghu Nandi&’s team, bursting forward at pace and linking up nicely with Ashit.
But Ulka upped the tempo after Surajit Das replaced Rabi Basu in the 61st minute. The east Siliguri team seized up the opposition well and concentrated on stretching the Mahananda midfielders and defenders.
With Raghu&’s boys still having a goal lead, Ulka came all out attacking, looking for the equaliser in the dying minutes, and Striker of the Meet Okaro Gore Price equalised a few seconds before the final whistle, when he fired in a brilliant Rathin Thapa cross from the right.
The Mahananda custodian Raju Ganguly saved the shots of Ecko and Samson shots during the penalty shoot-out to give his side a memorable win and win the title of the Keeper of the Championship.
Emmanuel of the champions and Azharuddin Mullick of Sports Authority of India were adjudged Defender of the Meet and Most Promising Player of the Championship respectively.
Ujjwal, Price and Satyen Roy of Siliguri Kishore Sangha were awarded a special prize for finishing as the highest scorer of the tournament with three goals each. The Fair Play Trophy went to SAI.
The prizes were given away to the winners by the district magistrate of Darjeeling, Mr Puneet Yadav and the Siliguri Mahakuma Krira Parishad general secretary and president, Mr Arup Ratan Ghosh and Mr Kuntal Goswami.