Lt Col Robert Cup 2023 concludes, Esii United FC, Mao lifts championship

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Senapati: Esii United FC, Mao lifts championship at the 2nd edition of (L) Lt. Col. Robert Cup, 2023 at Sanyi Dahrii Memorial Sports Complex, Khabung Karong. The tournament started on March 3, 2022 and went on till Saturday. 16 teams from all over Manipur competed with great zeal and enthusiasm to win the 2nd edition of Robert Cup. The league matches were played for 3 days till March 5 on knock-out basis and the quarter finals were played on March 6 & 7 respectively. The semi-finals were played on March 9 out of which, Esii United FC from Mao and Tiipumei FC from Taphou Naga emerged as the finalists of the day. 

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Lt. Col. Robert TA was the eldest son of L. Thoiba Angeles and K. Kareila, born on January 24, 1982. After completing his schooling from Don Bosco College, Maram and Loyala School, Chennai, Lt. Col. went on to join Cadets Training Wing, College of Military Engineering, Pune in June 2000. Then Col. Robert was adjudged as the best sportsman of the passing out course based on his overall performance in sports. 

Having completed 4 years of military training, Col. Robert got commissioned into the 3rd Engineer Regiment on June 12, 2004 from the prestigious Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. Col. Robert during his service as Captain emerged as winner in the renowned Army Adventures Challege Cup for the year 2008. For this act, he was awarded the Vice-Chief of the Army Staff Commendation card. On April 28, 2014, Col. Robert got married to P. Chingpai and the couple was blessed with 2 beautiful angels, Pungdila Deborah and Hinga Evelyn.

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Col. Robert was an avid sportsman and adventurist who wanted to join Indian Army and serve the nation since his early days. On May 14, 2020, the 38 year old first Army officer from Maram Naga community left for his heavenly abode while leading a patrol party which came under a massive avalanche in North Sikkim. People remember him till date and dedicate the football tournament in his loving memory to make him live forever amongst people. The final match was held in the presence of Col. Arnab Mitra, Commandant, 33 Assam Rifles, P. Chingpai, w/o (L) Lt. Col. Robert and her parents, MLA L. Dikho, former MLA Alexander Pao, SDOs, Addl SPs, officers from 33 Assam Rifles including Maj. Abhayjeet Singh, Officials from the NPO, SDSA, SDWA, SDOAM, DSA, different chairmen/secretaries of district headquarters.

The final match of the 2nd edition of Lt. Col. Robert tournament was kicked off by Commandant, 33 Assam Rifles. The first goal was scored by the Esii United FC, Mao just within 10 minutes of the play. However, Tiipumei FC from Taphou Naga equalised the goal by 1-1 draw till completion of the full time allotted.

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After 30 minutes of extra time, both teams could not score any goal that led to penalty kick at the end of the match where Esii United FC, Mao emerged as the champion of the tournament by 4-3 goals. The championship went in favour of Esii United FC, Mao where 2 individual prizes of Best player and best goalkeeper were also given to the champion team. The champion team was awarded with Rs. 2 lakh and the runner up team with Rs. 1 lakh respectively. Prizes were handed over by Brig. Bikram Saini, SM, VSM, DIG, 22 Sector, Assam Rifles.

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