New Delhi: It was a very profitable day for the teams from the North East as Birjhora Higher Secondary School from Assam, Government Chawngfianga Middle School from Mizoram, who are also the defending champions, and Greenwood High School, Nagaland made the quarterfinals from their respective groups in the 55th Subroto Cup football here.
In Pool D of the under-14 category, the Birjhora schoolboys defeated Bethany Convent High School (Sao Jose De Areal, Salcete) 3-0 to grab the top perch in their pool and thus qualify for the quarterfinals.
As for the quarterfinal line-up, the Nagaland team will take on NCC (Maharashtra) in the first quarterfinal on Sunday with a rest day on Saturday, while Assam boys will clash with the Mizo schoolboys in the second quarterfinal.
The match, which began on a dull note, picked up momentum from the 43rd minute when Raja Brahma scored the first goal for the Assam team. As if they were on cue, Narayan struck in the very next minute to consolidate their position and seven minutes later Ahmorendra netted another goal to complete the task.
But it was Ramhlunchhunga's brace - the first goal coming as late as in the 36th minute to be followed by another one during injury time (51) - helped the Mizoram school beat visitors from Nepal, Lok Smriti Higher Secondary School in Pool C match which earned the Chawngfianga Middle School a last eight berth.
It was a creditable display from the Mizoram boys because only a win could have seen them through to the next stage. And they did admirably to first gauge the situation with a cautious approach initially before going all out.
To that extent striker Ramhlunchhunga must be praised for his presence of mind to put his team in the lead in the 36th minute. The goal only relieved tension in the camp but also pepped them to attack from both flanks and resulting in the second goal to seal the fate of the Nepal team.
However, in a high-scoring match, Greenwood High School from Nagaland raised the pitch to a new level by scoring 32 goals without getting a reply from Lakshwadeep team, Government Senior Secondary School. In fact, the Nagaland team set a record of sorts in the tournament for highest goals by a team, scoring two goals more than the NCC team from Maharashtra, who beat the Sri Lankan Defence College 30-0 on Thursday.