Kohima, October 3: Angami Students’ Union Seniors FC clinched the 21st Edition of Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy 2020 (Special Edition) by beating NSF in a penalty shoot-out at IG Stadium, Kohima on October 3.
The first 13 minutes of the final match witnessed both teams struggling to build up meaningful offense. However, ASU Seniors FC secured the lead in the game the following minute as ASU SFC’s Medo Yokha managed to get inside the box and scored a goal which was poorly contested by the NSF’s defence.
ASU SFC had the chance to double the lead when they were awarded a penalty-kick in the 18th minute but the shot was off-target and went a couple of feet wide from the post.
With just 7 minutes left before the whistle for halftime, SFC’s earlier lacklustre offense evolved into some dangerous attack posing genuine threat to the NSF. However, finishing touches was amiss as they failed to convert a couple of good plays.
The second-half saw the ASU SFC renewing their offense with more speed and precision but the ball still failed to find its way into the back of their opponent’s net. And as last interval eased into the 5th minute, NSF’s Dievi Yano conjured an equalizer for his team.
From here on, it was apparent that both teams did not want to go for penalty shoot-out as they put in all efforts to take the lead in the regulated time. Which ultimately led to a penalty shoot-out, where NSF missed the first two shots, and ASU SFC making all four shots consecutively.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still at large, this year’s trophy had to be restricted to an exhibition match between Angami Youth Organization (AYO), ASU SFC, Angami Students’ Union and NSF.
Matches played in the early hours of the day witnessed NSF claiming an easy win over ASU on the first match putting the score line at 4-2 and ASU SFC claiming a spot for a shot at the title by defeating AYO with a lone goal.
With NSF and ASU SFC, both through to the final, ASU and AYO vied for the third position where ASU claimed the position with a score line of 4-2 over AYO. The match witnessed abundant goals as ASU’s Ketouletuo Kuotsu and Vizokho Zashiimo scored 2 goals each for their team while Zekuseto Natso managed to rake in two goals for AYO.
The first, second and third place were awarded Rs.30,000, Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 10,000 respectively.
Earlier during the day, President of ASU, Vizokho Zashiimo, said that the trophy is beyond football and added “this day also reminds us of the Naga Struggle, which is a call for peace which has been envisioned by the pioneers. In this year’s special edition, themed “beyond COVID,” we are bombarded with many challenges in our time and we cannot fully understand or predict. The least we can do is to show compassion and love for each other, he added.
Also speaking at the event, NSF President, Ninoto Awomi said the gathering was in remembrance of our Martyrs. 34 years ago it was on March 20, 1986, when thousands of students came forward to extend their solidarity to NSF while NSF was protesting against the extension of the Disturbed Area Act (DAA), along the Indo-Burma border and the introduction of the Indian Police Service gathered in Nagaland, Lt. Kekuojalie Sachii and Lt. Lt. Vikhozo Yhoshii succumbed to the indiscriminate firing which was fired upon the peaceful agitating students by the armed police force from Alichen, Mokokchung.
Taking this privilege, Awomi offered deepest respect and honour in memory of the two precious souls who sacrificed their lives to protect the interest of the Naga People.
Lt. Vikhozo Yhoshii’s mother Neibano Yhoshii and sister Kelevino Yhoshii were also present at the event.