ARMY GREEN PIP NEROCA FC TO WIN 2016 DURAND CUP - THE INDIAN LEAGUE

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

ARMY GREEN PIP NEROCA FC TO WIN 2016 DURAND CUP


2016 DURAND CUP | FINAL
Final
NFC Army Green
0 AET 0
5 PENALTIES 6
05:00 PM | 11/09/2016
Venue: Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi
Army Green defied all odds to lift 128th Durand Cup as they defeated Manipuri side, NEROCA FC  with a scoreline of 6-5 on penalties after the match remained goalless after 120 minutes of play. 

The last time an Army team won Durand Cup was in 2005 when Army XI defeated Sporting Clube de Goa in the finals. Incidentally, that win also came on penalties after the match finished without a goal being scored in 120 minutes of game play.

NEROCA started as the dominating team in the match and with attacking game play. But it was Army Green who had the first shot at goal. Tem minutes in =to the game, Army Captain , Lallawmkima received a cross from the right flank but his header was wide of the goal.

Manipuri side was quick to respond and created their first oppurtunity three minutes into the second quarter. Ashok Singh's cross from the right flank out foxed the defence of the Armymen, but Malemnganba Meitei's half vollry sailed over the goal post.

At the half hour mark, NEROCA's forward, Thokhom Singh was brought down inside the box but no penalty was given by the referee.

Four minutes into the half hour mark, Ashok Singh and Sushil Kumar combined to make a threatening move against Army Green but Sushil's headed the ball straight into goalkeeper's hand.

Ashok Singh was in thick of the things as his pass found Thokchom in the 40th minute but he failed to capitalise and wasted the chance.

The match went into half time with no change in scoreboard.

Arm Green brought their defensive game in the second half as NEROCA FC found it difficult to penetrate their defense. Herojit Singh, who was moved to to an attacking role, tried his luck from a 25 yard frrr-kick but it sailed over the goal without bothering NEROCA's goalkeeper.

Herojit Singh proved to be the saviour of Army Green in the 68th minute. Meitei's cross from the left was blocked by Army's goalkeeper, but the loose ball fell in front of Sushil Singh, who took the shot, only to be blocked by Herojit Singh.

The match went into Extra time as none of the teams were able to break the dead lock in the regular time. For Army Green, this was their second Extra Time in two days. Their semi final match against Aizawl FC also went into Extra Time after it ended with a scoreline of 3-3 at the end of regulation time.

NEROCA FC dominated the game against a visibly tired Army Green team. In the 99th minute, they managed four successive corners with substitute, Longjam Gobin Singh missing a sitter in the last one.

Army responded with their onw attack in 106th minute when, Vikram Adhikari's cross from the  right produced a shot that made NEROCA FC's goalkeeper, Lalit Thapa to dive to his right to avoid the danger.

Two minutes before the final whistle, Sushil Singh had the golden oppurtunity to wrap things up for his team when an inch perfect cross from left fell just in ftont of him but he failed to capitalise as his header sent the ball wide of the goal.

The match went into penalties to decide the winner of Durand Cup. The score was tied at 4-4 at the end of 5 regulation penalties. In sudden death, Govin Singh's strike rattled the woodwork. Vikram Adhikari converted his penalty, sending his side and the supporters into frenzy.

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