Women's Football Nationals: Manipur Stun Defending Champions Kerala In Semis - Eastern Mirror
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Women’s football nationals: Manipur stun defending champions Kerala in semis

By IANS Updated: May 13, 2024 6:52 pm

KOLKATA — Defending champions Kerala’s quest for retaining the Rajmata Jijabai Trophy at the Senior Women’s National Football Championship came to an end against record 21-time champions, Manipur, here on Monday.

The highly awaited game between the two title favourites took place at the AIFF National Centre of Excellence in Kolkata on Monday. It proved to be a solid outing for Manipur who came into the game on the back of a surprising defeat against Haryana, which saw them finish second in their group.

It was the pace of Dangmei Grace that helped the team break the deadlock in the 35th minute. Right back, Kritina Devi hoofed the ball up the field and Grace used her pace to get to the ball and curl in a cross which was met by a towering header from Sibani Devi to give Manipur the lead.

The first goal left the Kerala defense scrambling as Manipur capitalised on the nerves of the defending champions to double their advantage moments before the half-time whistle. It was once again the star of the game, Dangmei Grace who carved open the right flank with her dashing run and it seemed the defense had no answer.

Grace cut the ball into the danger zone with Bala Devi lurking to latch the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-0 in the 45th minute.

The second goal was fatal for the Kerala team as the damage done in the first half was too much to overcome in the second 45 minutes and they booked their place in the final where they will be aiming to lift the trophy for the 22nd time.

Manipur will be awaiting the conclusion of the second semifinal between Bengal & Haryana to see who they will be facing in the final on Wednesday.

By IANS Updated: May 13, 2024 6:52:15 pm
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