In a joyous moments, the Hornbills shouted "Hip Hip Hurray! They defeated Zeliangrong FC 2-0 in the final match of 11th ONGC North-East Tamchon Football Tournament held in Dr Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi on December 2, 2017.
North-East, the land of football lovers, from the nook and corner of the national capital, Delhi gathered and flocked together in a group supporting their favourite team in the final kick-off. Both the side of supporters came in a huge number with large banners, beating drums and whistles and blowing pipes, cheering their team players. The fans of Zeliangrong FC screamed heavily, "Zeliangrong Rintelo!" On the other side, the groups of Hornbill joyfully shouted, "Long Live, Hornbill!"A dramatic and exciting moment of the year.
Defending champion (also of 2015) Muvanlai Athletics and Hmar FC fiercely fought for the third place title. The defending champion Muvanlai has been thrashed badly by the Hmars in 5-Zero goals. It was really a sad day for the fans and supporters of Muvanlai (in Kuki, Eagle).
Mr Jikil Basumatary of Bodo FC received the best goalkeeper award, Zeliangrong's Abhishak got best defender award, Vikas of Zeliangrong FC got best midfielder award, Hornbill's Akbar Khan got best striker award, Indian Air Force got best team award, Best coach goes to NK Tadoubou of Hornbill FC, and Muvanlai's Paobul Haokip got best manager award. The most and best eye-on, Mr Ansh Gupta of Hornbill received the award Man of the tournament.
The closing ceremony was graced by Shri Conrad Sangma, Member of Parliament (MP), and Shri Ameising Luikham, IAS, Secretary of Minority Affairs, Govt of India, as the chieft guest and guest of honour respectively.
The special invitees include Shri Shashi Shanker, CMD, ONGC; Smt Supriya Sahu, IAS, Director General, Doordarshan; and Shri David Lalrinsanga, IPS, Joint Commissioner of Police (also the nodal officer for northeast people), Delhi.
The crowd assembled at Ambedkar Stadium, which was enterained by Retrosonic. Everyone raised up ang sang the theme song: "Go Light Your World", led by Ms Melody Varte.
North-East loves not only football, it also music! A beautiful and soft-spoken lady, Ms Melody Varte mesmerized the crowd. A young gentleman Themreishang Awungshi has electrifide the huge crowd with his melodious songs.
It may be mentioned that Mr Ngaranmi Shimray, Vice-President, TNSD gave the welcome address and Ms Chingri Zimik, Joint Secretary, TNSD gave away the vote-of-thanks.
Addressing the crowd as the chief guest Shri Conrad Sangma said he is also a football lover and played as a goalkeeper in his hey days. He said i love football, and i also saved many goals when i was a keeper! I wish both the finalist team to play their very best.
While speaking to the media, Mr Ngaranmi Shimray said, we are trying our best and we co-ordinate between the players and Indian clubs, who are looking for prospective players. It was a blessing for our people. That they, our boys (those who played in this trophy), can go in a professional way by entering into big big Indian teams/clubs. "Now i am in continuous contacts with many clubs' mangers and coaches". "This year, even Chinese, Thais, Koreans were requesting for a slot, though we want to give them, but it was not possible. However, we (the organisers) looking forward in such a way to accomodate many more. As football has no boundaries, we, the organisers has not boundaries at all. See, the Indian Air Force and Gorkha, has been accomdated. By the way, we all are Indians, game is a game. That's we love and called football", Mr Shimray stated.
Let's go back to the semi for awhile, why? It was the biggests fights ever. Two great teams, died in semi! Fans believed these two team willl clashed in the final, but hope despairs, when the kick-off began.
The champion of 2014 & 2013, Hmar FC lost to Zeliangrong by One-Zero, and the defending champion of 2016 & 2015, Muvanlai Athletics lost to Hornbill FC by One-Zero in the semi final. Eagle (=muvanlai) could not kill Hornbill bird!
Interestingly, these two team Hmar FC and Zeliangrong FC met only in the semi final. Unluckily, Hmar FC stopper turned the ball into a suicidal goal in the 23rd-minute, while trying to defend the ball infront of the goalie, the ball spined-off from his leg and entered into their own goal. Thats, the unlucky part of Hmars! Even this reporter, a supporter of Hmar FC, closed down his pen, as a sign of support to Hmar pasaltha (good men or martyrs)!
The great Hmars had lost two finals to Zeliangrongs, in the year 2012 and 2008. Zeliangrong lost to Muvanlai in 2016 final.
This time, 2017, Muvanlai was defeated by Hornbill in the semi, through Mr Hemta turning the ball into goal in 42th minute. The match was full of excitement, and cheerings from the huge fans and supporters of both side. For Muvanlai, two closely attempts, just only 2-3 feet away from the goalie, the first kicked was blocked away by the goalie. Then Muvanlai striker hastily kicked towards the goal, but it straightly hit the goalpost and bounced back. Hornbill FC also missed another three good-attempts. Either side could not enter goal throught out the end.
Lastly, but not the least, the birds of Hornbill has ais from Gurgaon, all the goals originated from his passings (in football, its called suppliers). He has three eyes in the field, but two in physical. he has supplied the balls to the right-winger, and to the left. He remained in the mid. The third-eye, is in the middle, but guarded by many Zeliangrongs, so he feat the ball into many ways!
The winner takes away the Trophy alongwith Cash Rs 5 Lakhs, runners-up has Rs 3 Lakhs, 3rd Place Rs 2 Lakhs and the quater-finalist team received Rs 25,000 each.
NETFT has began in 2007 under the aegis of Tangkhul Naga Society Delhi (TNSD) in memory of a young police officer named Mr Tamchon Raingam, an ACP (Asst Commissioner of Police), Delhi. Since its inception, the theme of the tournament is "Unity, Friendship, Understanding and Sportsmanship".
The event is also popular for its various cultural exhibitions. The opening and closing ceremonies exhibits the reich cultural hertiage of the North-East regions. Officials from the organising committee, says, till now, more than 5000 footballers have participated in Tamchon football. More than a hundred have been placed in elite national clubs! Amazing!!
Not to forget, forget me not! There were many beautiful lady-volunteers, who caters us --- giving tea and snaks to the guests and mediapersons --- with beautiful smiles and disciplined approached, so much so that, we often want to leave the podium, and sit among the crowd. But many of us, were being embedded! Thanks to them, whom we don't know their names.