Guwahati, Monday, May 30, 2011
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A tough contest on cards in Santosh Trophy final
Sports reporter
 GUWAHATI, May 29 The final of the 65th edition of National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy is all set to witness a tough contest as both Bengal and Manipur are raring to go all out for the top honours.

The summit clash is scheduled to be held at the Nehru Stadium here tomorrow and the kick-off time is 5.30 pm.

Manipur coach S Ekendra Singh vowed to put their best effort in order to lift the prestigious Santosh Trophy for the second time. He was seen quite determined in winning the title after 2006 when they bagged it at their home ground. Manipur has some talented players in their rank who have the capacity to break through any defence. I Nilkumar Singh and L Tiken Singh are such kind of players at the Manipur upfront who have the ability to cruise through the defence with tremendous ball controlling and speed.

They are getting adequate support from midfielders like L Thoiba Singh, Th Santosh Singh and S Mnimohan Singh. But their defenders are lacking in required speed. Particularly the wing-backs have to be more cautious while guarding the opponent wingers. The defenders made some crucial mistakes in the previous matches due to which they had to concede some unexpected goals. As a whole the Manipur team is quite fast and their main advantage will be the home-like atmosphere.

On the other hand the Bengal team is a vastly experienced side with 30 times winning record in this premier championship. Bengal frontliners Branco Vincent and Budiram Tudu are brilliant enough to hit the opponent target at any moment. But their central palyers-Snehashis Dutta, Santosh Oraon and Mumtaz Akhtar have to do more home work before the final in order to restrict the fast-moving Manipur attackers. Bengal has good goalkeeper in Naseem Akhtar but their deep defenders-Gurpreet Singh, Safar Sardar, Anupam Sarkar and Suman Dey need to concentrate more on balancing themselves. Finally the Bengal players have to quit the habit of missing the target.

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