Manipur footballer Ninthoi Meetei has been declared the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the Tournament as India won the SAFF U-18 Championship at Kathmandu in Nepal on Sunday.
The Indian football team lifted the championship by defeating Bangladesh 2-1 in the final.
This was the first win of the Indian football team in the SAFF U-18 Championship.
Indian footballer Ninthoi Meetei also plays for the NorthEast United Football Club (NEUFC).
He joined the NEUFC, co-owned by actor John Abraham, on July 1, 2019.
Informing about the achievement of Ninthoi Meetei, the NEUFC on its official Twitter handle stated: “Ninthoi Meetei is awarded the MVP of the Tournament as India wins the #SAFFU18.”
Ninthoi Meetei is awarded the MVP of the Tournament as ?? wins the #SAFFU18 ? ?
— NorthEast United FC (@NEUtdFC) September 29, 2019
It also congratulated the team.
Congratulating the winning Indian U-18 team, union minister of sports and youth affairs (independent charge) Kiren Rijiju tweeted: “This is a huge victory! Indian U-18 Football team won the #SAFFU18 Championship. Hearty Congratulations to the young boys for their stupendous display of Football.”
This is a huge victory! Indian U-18 Football team won the #SAFFU18 Championship. Hearty Congratulations to the young boys for their stupendous display of Football?? @IndianFootball https://t.co/V9bYTLiHjT
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) September 29, 2019
Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh has also congratulated the Indian team on his Twitter handle.He tweeted: “Congratulations to the Indian U-18 Football team for winning the finals to lift the #SAFFU18 championships.”
“We are Proud of your achievement,” he added.
Congratulations to the Indian U-18 Football team for winning the finals to lift the #SAFFU18 championships.
We are Proud of your achievement.#Indiansports #IndianFootb ?@PMOIndia? @KirenRijiju? pic.twitter.com/4YrVcfmHZw
— N.Biren Singh (@NBirenSingh) September 29, 2019
According to matchreports, India surged ahead as early as the second minute when Vikram Pratap Singh sped past his marker and banged on it.
The winning moment came for the Indian team during the injury time when Ravi Bahadur Rana scored off a screamer from about 30 yards.
It was Yeasin Arafat who reduced the margin for Bangladesh in the 40th minute of the game.
A media report quoted head coach Floyd Pinto as saying after the final whistle, “I had maintained that it will take a moment of brilliance to end this SAFF Championship, and it was fitting that Ravi finished off with a wonderful strike.”
He further said, “We were not just the best footballing team in the tournament, but also the most effective team. I am really happy for the boys. They earned it.”
All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel has also congratulated the Indian team.