Gangtok, 20 Feb:
A brace by Sangay Chophel Bhutia helped Sikkim start the 2nd Dr T Ao Centenary North East International NEC Gold Cup Football Championship [U-21] 2019 campaign with a victory.
Playing its first match in the qualifying round, Sikkim outplayed Arunachal Pradesh 03-01 at Guwahati in Assam today.
With an attacking start, Sangay Chophel won an early lead for Sikkim in the 3rd minute itself and soon completed his brace in the 7th minute. The first half ended 2-1 when Arunachal Pradesh scoring a goal in the last minutes of the first half.
In the second half, Sikkim again got several opportunities to extend the lead but missed the net until finally Prashant Chettri extended the lead in the 88th minute of the match to seal a 03-01 victory for Sikkim. Sikkim bagged three full points from this victory.
Speaking over the phone, Sikkim team manager, Arjun Rai, mentioned that the State team dominated the match with maximum possession of the ball but missed several chances to finish the match at a higher scoreline.
Sikkim will now take on Bhutan on 22 February in its second qualifying match.