Ukhrul: After two years of quiescence, Ukhrul seems to have come to life this month as the 29th Shirui Lily National tournament kick started.
Football lovers and fans from United Brothers FC and Shillong Lajong FC teams were seen pouring in at Ukhrul town mini-stadium at the 3rd quarterfinal match. The emotion surrounding this particular match was United Brothers FC, the only team out of the four local teams to have survived, up against a giant, one of India’s finest clubs.
The electrifying 3rd quarterfinal match had everyone hoping United Brothers FC, the winner of the Ukhrul District league 2021, the boys from New Canaan, to take home this crucial match.
The crowds were equally divided between the teams. Although the young SLFC is from an outer state, they steered a lot of fans out here in Ukhrul. SLFC’s Benjamin scored the winning goal as soon as the game started at 16 minutes.
More than 5000 spectators turned up to watch the match. According to the organizers, all the tickets were sold out. Monday recorded the 2nd best crowd, touching almost 5000, after Yarkhok United FC and TRAU match on Sunday which tallied the number of spectators to 5000.
Post match, Gladdy Kharbuli (Jersey 8), Captain SLFC, said, “The crowd was very good. It was a good game. We are looking forward to moving up to win our next match and to give our best”.
Henry Ford Nongneng (Jersey 19) and Badonland Rapsang (Jersey 3) expressed that they feel at home in Ukhrul because of the pleasant weather and wonderful people. This is their first time in Ukhrul, although they have visited Imphal once for a tournament. “We will surely call our friends to come if we make it for the final”, they said with excitement.