GUWAHATI, Feb 26 � Defending champions Assam Rifles soccer team retained the title in the second edition of the Assam State Premier League Football Championship defeating Assam Police Blues by an aggregate of 4-2 in penalty shoot-out.
Both the teams netted one goal each in the regulation time as in the extra time no goals were scored.
In a mediocre title clash at the Judges� Field here this evening, veteran striker Akum Ao fired home off a set piece in the 50th minute to put Assam Rifles ahead. Following a foul made by Assam Police Blues defender Ghanakanta Rajbangshi at the top of the box, Riflemen were awarded a free kick and Akum beat Police custodian Kailash Das with a beautiful shot. The ball struck the cross piece and entered the goal.
Stung by the reverse, the Policemen geared up with some hard work and initiated a couple of good moves. Rowel Mirdha, Robijit Jigdung and Kajaigek Rongmai were in good touch and combined well to trouble the Rifle defenders. Finally, Rowel found the equaliser in the 81st minute which enhanced the momentum of the match.
The first session was quite lacklustre as no team could make headway towards the opponent goal area with planned moves. The ball was mostly confined to the middle third part of the pitch.
But the men from Shillong took control after switching over with Akum Ao, Ajit Singh and Abel Sema taking initiative in building moves from the Rifle half.
In the penalty shoot-out, Naoba Singh, Omana Kuttan and Ajit Singh were the successful shooters for Assam Rifles, while M Kamei failed to score. For Assam Police Blues, only Ghana Kanta Rajbangshi could score, while Joseph Maslai, Mithun Gayari and Bikram Gogoi missed their opportunities.
Akum Ao was adjudged best player of the final. Earlier Sports Minister Bharat Ch Narah was introduced to the players.