Women’s Football Nationals: Manipur Beat Odisha, To Meet Railways In Final

Kozhikode:  Manipur defeated Odisha on penalties in the second semi-final of the Hero Senior Women’s National Football Championship 2021-22 at the EMS Corporation Stadium here on Tuesday to set up a clash with Railways in the final on December 9.

It was slow first half which saw both teams testing each other out and chances were few and far between. The only highlight of the first half was when Papki Devi scored an own goal which gave Odisha the early lead in the 11th minute.

Both sides kept plugging away at each other but were unable to find the second goal of the match. Just when Odisha were looking at the prospect of taking a lead into the half-time break, Manipur’s Kiranbala Chanu (‘5+3’) rose to the occasion in the dying minutes of the first half and scored from a beautiful corner which leveled the score at the lemon break.

Both the teams started out well in the second half with a lot of pressing over each other but couldn’t manage to change the scoreline. In the 67th minute, Odisha’s Jasoda Munda took a free-kick but it went off the cross-bar.

In the 70th minute, Deepa Nayak created a great opportunity, but the striker’s attempt was brilliantly saved by Manipu’s custodian Roshini Devi.

The full-time scoreline read 1-1 as the match progressed to extra time. Odisha maintained the pressure on Manipur’s defence, constantly bombarding them with attacks, but the North-Eastern side kept on thwarting them. The match soon went into the dreaded penalty shoot-out as both the teams failed to score in the 120 minutes.

It was a perfect record for Manipur in the penalties, as Babysana Devi, Roja Devi, and Sultana MS netted their spot-kicks, while Jasoda Munda, Subhadra Sahu, and Suman Pragyana Mohapatra missed theirs for Odisha.

Manipur will now face Railways in a replay of the 2019-20 Hero Senior Women’s National Football Championship final at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode at 3 PM IST on Thursday, December 9, 2021. The match will be streamed live on the Indian Football Team Facebook page and the Indian Football YouTube channel.

(IANS)