India-B which comprise of State riders will be taking on England on November 29 for the title of the 12th Manipur Polo International, 2018 being organised by Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association at Mapal Kangjeibung as a part of the Manipur Sangai Festival.
The first match of the day witnessed local team, India-B get the better of Uruguay by 5-3 goals to extend their unbeaten run and secure the top spot of the league round to qualify for the final while England played out a 3-3 draw with USA in the last match to finish second and book the final berth.
Both India-B and Uruguay took off the first match competitively but confident India-B had the honour to led the first chukker 2-1 with Th Kaoba scoring the opener.
P Ojit scored the other goal for India-B while it was Juan Fernandes who pulled back a goal for Uruguay in this chukker.
The second chukker saw the local side dominate the possession and fired in three goals to stretch the lead to 5-1 goals.
S Bimol was the first to score in this chukker while T Pradeep chipped in two goals alone to give India-B the healthy lead against the visitors.
Both India-B and Uruguay failed to alter the scoreline in the third chukker but Uruguay came back with a never-say-die approach in the last chukker and managed to cut the gap by 2 goals as Guiliermo Secco and Alejandro Ethor Roy were able to slot home one goal each.
Their efforts however fell shorts as time ticked away to favour India-B with a 5-3 win.
The last league match between England and USA was rather entertaining as both teams were in contention for second place of the league round.
USA enjoyed a 1-0 lead in the first two chukker with Kegan Walsh scoring the goal but the real test came up in the third chukker as England gathered momentum to equalise the score despite Connor Deal (0.16′) and Chad Bowman (5.07′) goals.
George Shelton opened up the scoring for England before rescuing his team from the mouth of defeat with another shot after his compatriot Henry Amor had a single.
Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar Singh while gracing the match said, the game of polo which was originated in Manipur has now became an interesting game throughout the world.
It is indeed a delightful moment for all as many countries in the world are embracing the game, he said.
He further said, the game of polo has been associating with Manipur from ancient times and even it was associated with folklore of Manipur.
It is important to know that this game is played only with indigenous Manipuri Horse – Pony from ancient times.
Joykumar Singh stated that Pony was not only associated with Polo, but it had a great role in war times in the ancient kingdom of Manipur.
Therefore, conservation and steps to protect this animal has becoming an important aspect and State Government has also been working on it, he added.
Deputy Chief Minister lauded all the teams including the visiting teams from abroad and wishes them to enjoy the game in the oldest living polo ground in the world – Mapal Kangjeibung.
Health Minister L Jayantakumar Singh; Deputy Chairman, State Planning Board Rajen Singh also graced the matches.