Tamil Nadu beat Haryana 2-1 in the final to clinch the senior women’s National football championship at the Guru Nanak stadium in Amritsar on Wednesday.
Tamil Nadu had last won the title in 2018.
After Renu Rani, with the help of a deflection off a TN defender, put Haryana ahead in the 50th minute, Priyadharshini equalised with a header off a corner kick from Malavika in the 56th minute. Indumathi struck the winning goal off a penalty in the 83rd minute.
“Happiest moment! We all are very happy! We were a goal down. The players didn’t give up and played boldly. They didn’t want to lose and the game they played after that was very original,” said TN coach S. Gokila.
“To win 2-1 after being a goal down, is always an extraordinary performance! This is a milestone in my life, and this final will be an unforgettable match in their life for all the players!
“There was incredible crowd support for Haryana. Our girls were stunned by that in the first half! With that, to have conceded a goal and still gone on to win is a great performance!”
She had a special word of appreciation for the captain and goalkeeper Devi. “Marvellous performance overall! She’s the main reason we won the semifinal! She would have saved at least five confirmed goals in that match!”
Tamil Nadu neither lost nor drew any of the seven matches (including the final) in its title-winning campaign.
The 2018 title-winning team didn’t receive any government reward or incentive. They didn’t land government jobs either.
“We have faith in the incumbent State government. We are confident that the players will receive a high cash incentive and a government job. That was a big motivation for the girls to win the title! I told them that they can confidently ask for the incentive and job if they win,” said the coach.
Seeni Mohaideen, chairman, Women’s Committee — Tamil Nadu Football Association (TFA) also hoped that the government would justly reward the players and officials.