Santosh Trophy: Nagaland takes on Manipur today

Santosh Trophy: Nagaland takes on Manipur today
Nagaland football team in Agartala on Sunday.
Correspondent Kohima, Sep 22 (NPN) | Publish Date: 9/22/2019 1:10:51 PM IST
Nagaland football team will play against Manipur in their first match of National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy 2019-20 North East qualifying round on September 23 at 3:00 pm in Agartala. The NE zone tournament will conclude on September 27. 
Shillong Lajong FC goalkeeper Neithovilie Chalieu and Minerva Punjab midfielder Lironthung Lotha are also in the line-up for Nagaland team.
The team, consisting of 18 state football players, is being led by Roko Angami, AFC B license coach as the team coach and Kevilebei Zashümo as assistant coach and manager. 
Defender Sanyem Konyak will captain the team which includes players like Neithovilie Chalieu, Medophrezo Kezieo, Kuvezo Vero, Kethosilie Zhatsu, Shurhosul Zhotso, Lirhothung G Lotha, Ringham Jigdun, Menguzelie Rutsa,   Sujimong Jongpong, Zumzum Punyü, Khrukoto  Resu, Maldhar Patgiri, Mezibui, Neikedozo Tsira, Longkhoi K, Monton Konyak  and Jaminungsang Putichiba.
In a drawback to the state team, some of the senior players refused to play in the Santosh Trophy citing lack of preparation. 
Nagaland failed to participate in the trophy for consecutive three years and faces relegation if they were not able to field a team this year. However, this year, a new breed of young players will be on the field to represent the state. 
Speaking to Nagaland Post, Atuo Mezhür Sekhose, president, Nagaland Football Association (NFA) said that the association had a hard time trying to form a state team after some players who were in the list have not renewed their CRS and players playing outside the state either wanted airfare or had their club duties.
Nagaland are in Group B along with Manipur, Meghalaya and Railways. In Group A are hosts Tripura, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. The top teams from each group will qualify for the finals.
Services are currently the defending champions of the 2018-19 Santosh Trophy.

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