Mizoram lifts North East Dr T Ao Trophy; Rio hopes NE states will continue to build bonds of friendship


Kohima, January 28: Mizoram today emerged champion of the 9th North East Dr T Trophy hosted by Nagaland at Indira Gandhi Stadium here on the theme “Together we can soar”.
Playing a closely contested final match of the week-long tourney, Mizoram defeated Sikkim by a solitary goal netted by David Lalrinmuana in the 74th minute.
It is Mizoram’s third win of the trophy. They had also won in 2011 and 2014.
Sikkim has won the runners-up trophy for the first time.
As the champion, Mizoram received cash award of Rs 10 lakh while runners-up Sikkim got Rs 6 lakh with trophies and citations.
Earlier in the playoff match, Nagaland defeated Arunachal Pradesh 4-2 to win the third position. They received Rs 2 lakh while fourth place Arunachal got Rs 1 lakh. Both also got trophies and certificates.
The individual award winners are:
Player of the Tournament – Lalchungnunga Chhangte of Mizoram. He received Rs 25,000 with certificate.
Highest Scorer – Rhitsho Mero of Nagaland with 10 goals.
Best Goal Keeper – Urgen Pintso Sherpa of Sikkim
Best Defender – Hemphing of Nagaland
Best Midfielder – Kilpo Namgyal Barfunga of Sikkim
Best Forward – Malsawmfela of Mizoram
Man of Final Match – David Lalrinmuana of Mizoram
Speaking at the valedictory ceremony, Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio said that the North East Dr T Ao Trophy played in Nagaland has once again exemplified the fraternity of the north eastern states.
Rio expressed hope that the North Eastern states will continue to build the bonds of friendship under a spirit of unity and mutual co-existence so that together they can grow.
The CM said Dr Talimeren Ao was India’s first ever captain of the Indian football team at the Olympic Games.
In the 1948 London Olympic Games, when he led team India into the arena, he etched his names in the annals of India sport, Rio said, adding that Dr T Ao remains one of the greatest sons of Nagaland and a legendary figure who will inspire every generation.
“He was a champion, a nation builder and an icon who proved that no dream is impossible if one truly desires,” Rio added. Rio congratulated each and every organisation, all government departments and all individuals who made the 2020 edition of the trophy a grand success and also extended his appreciation to all the participants and to his chief minister colleagues of the north eastern states who have sent their teams, all of who have played the championships in an exemplary spirit of sportsmanship.
The CM also assured the sports fraternity in Nagaland that the State Government in collaboration with the Nagaland Olympic Association, the Government of India and the Indian Olympic Association is formulating a comprehensive long-term game-plan to develop sports in the State.
“We assure you that in the not very far future we hope to not only produce champions but also host national and international events and championships here in Nagaland”, he said while maintaining that all sections and stakeholders must work together as a cohesive unit towards this endeavour.
(Page News Service)