New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) A confident Mizoram will aim to win back to back titles in the Junior National Football Championship (NFC) tier 1 when they take on Punjab in the final schedule at the JLN Stadium in Shillong on Thursday.
“We beat them (Punjab) in the final last season, and are confident of repeating the feat. We had a tough semi-final against Meghalaya in the semis. The boys aim to continue the winning run against Punjab,” Vanlalpeka Ralte, coach, Mizoram, stated.
Mizoram had pipped Punjab 2-1 in the last edition’s final in Cuttack, Odisha which, incidentally, was their first Junior NFC trophy in the last decade.
“There’s a good number of Mizo population in Meghalaya. I hope they will all be there at the JLN Stadium to cheer for us tomorrow. Although we beat Meghalaya in the semi-final two days back, I request them to come and cheer for us against Punjab,” Ralte echoed.
Punjab on the other hand, aim to take inspiration from previous victories against Mizoram as they had outclassed Mizoram in consecutive finals in the 2015-16, and 2016-17 seasons respectively.
“But history won’t come to help us tomorrow. We have to start from scratch. We are cautious but I am confident of my boys’ abilities. Mizoram are more at home with the conditions as the tournament is being played in Shillong. That might give them an added advantage in the final,” Pardeep Kumar, coach, Punjab maintained.