GUWAHATI, Jan 9 � A 59th minute goal by striker Manjit Singh enabled SP Bhawanipore Football Club of Kolkata lift the Bharat Ratna Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Trophy.
In a mediocre summit clash of the 62nd edition of the championship at the Nehru Stadium here today, the Kolkata outfit edged past Aizawl Football Club by the barest of margin.
After a barren first session, Manjit volleyed home from a close range off a centre sent by Nigerian Bidemi Ayeni Daniel from the right flank.
The standard of the final match never rose to the expectations as both the teams concentrated more on guarding their respective forts than go all out. However, the Mizoram boys were seen creating more openings in comparison to their Kolkata counterparts.
The fast moving Aizawl players enjoyed lion share of the ball possession but due to poor finishing they could not bulge the net. B Zoramthara alone missed atleast three easy sitters in the first session from inside the box.
Almost the whole first session was dominated by the Aizawl team with some planned moves. Bhawanipore defenders had to reel through a tough time in the first session as they hardly got ample support from their mid fielders. The only positive scoring opportunity created by Bhawanipore in the first session was in the 23rd minute when Deepak�s accurate header was beautifully saved by Aizawl goalkeeper MS Dawngliana.
In the second session also Mizo boys kept the situation under their control. Midfielder David Lalrinmuana and Rohningthanga dominated the middle third of the pitch and fed their frontliners properly. But the Bhawanipore goalkeeper Debajit Majumder spoilt their party with some splendid works under the bar.
After conceding the sudden goal the Aizawl players enhanced their speed in search of the equaliser. In the 74th minute they created a real threat to the opponent but Bhawanipore defender Rajiv Ghosh made a goal line save off a shot taken by Malsawmfela.
For Bhawanipore, star strikers Jose Ramires Bareto and Bidemi Ayeni Daniel hardly could do justice for their reputations and they were virtually bottled up by the Mizo defenders. But Dipendu Dowary did some hard work at the Aizawl goal area with individual skill.
Debajit was adjudged best player by the Assam Sports Journalist Association and best goalkeeper by the organisers Guwahati Sports Association.
Assam Speaker Pranab Gogoi and Minister Gautam Roy gave away the champions and runners up trophies respectively. Bolin Bordoloi handed over the best player trophy.