Sikkim a draw away from Santosh Trophy qualification

Santosh Trophy
Wed, Feb 6, 2019

Sikkim scored two goals in either half to rout Bihar 4-1 in Santosh Trophy qualifiers at Bhilai, Chhattisgarh today.
Kunal Tamang and Bibek Bhutia scored in first half to give Sikkim 2-nil lead and seniors Ashish Chettri and Sanjay Rai scored in second to put Sikkim in a commanding position in the East Zone B which also has 32-time champions West Bengal.
Sikkim Football Association (SFA) joint secretary Arjun Rai said the game was totally dominated by Sikkim team. He quoted captain Mayal Dok Lepcha as saying “We could have scored many goals had we converted majority of the chances we had.”
Today’s performance has raised the players’ morale and they will be giving their all the second match to secure a berth in the tournament’s main draw, added Rai.
With Bihar losing two in as many matches they are out of the contest. Thursday’s game between Sikkim and West Bengal will determine who will progress to the main draw of the competition.
With 3-goal margin, the Sikkim team is poised to qualify for the annual national football championship. They will need just a draw against Bengal to qualify for the tournament.  Bengal defeated Bihar 1-0.
Even a draw would suffice.
Rai also revealed that Sikkim players did not have the opportunity to practice for full day after their train got delayed. “The team reached Bhilai on Monday at 3 pm only and without taking rest the players utilised whatever time they had to prepare for the game against Bihar,” said Rai.
SFA president Menla Ethenpa congratulated the team for the win and extended best wishes for the next match.
Sikkim will face West Bengal for a place in the tournament on February 7.

Area: 7096 Sq Km
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi