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Shillong, Dec 3:

Meghalaya won the Sub-Junior National Football Championship final 3-0 over Arunachal Pradesh in Kalyani, West Bengal, today.

Samchaphrang Lato (52′), Samlang Rympei (90’+4) and Teibok Nongrum (90’+5) scored the three goals to give Meghalaya, who were runners-up in 2017, the title.

Both North East sides were unbeaten right through the final round and that set up a fantastically close title match. A goalless half had its highlights, but Meghalaya were able to break the deadlock early on the second half.

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It came about after Baniatyllilang Mawkhiew moved into the Arunachal box and passed the ball to Colinsalmon Lyngdoh. Lyngdoh then crossed to Lato, who was blocked off his first attempt by a defender, with the ball leaping up into the air. Lato missed the ball completely on the rebound but still had a third chance and he made no mistake with the last attempt, connecting with his boot to score.

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Arunachal, who were runners-up last season, were dangerous on a couple of occasions after this, getting a good opportunity in the 67th minute, which was cleared in a hurry and then Meghalaya goalkeeper Berith Nongbri made a good save from a long-range free-kick.

Wallambok Shangpliang then turned provider for Rympei, who smashed the ball in from inside the box, while Nongrum then completely took the game away from Arunachal with a stunning free-kick.

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