National senior women’s championship | It’s Manipur vs Railways again in the final

Action packed: Manipur and Odisha players vie for the ball.  

The women from Manipur maintained their enviable record intact on Tuesday, but only just.

They made it to the final of the National senior women’s championship for the 24th time in 26 editions. They needed a penalty shoot-out to get past a resolute Odisha at the Corporation Stadium, though; the teams were tied 1-1 at the end of extra time in the second semifinal.

Earlier, the first semifinal in which Railways beat Mizoram, was also decided in the shoot-out after the 1-1 draw. That match went even further — to sudden death.

After a goalless opening half, Railways took the lead in the 70th minute through Mamta. She finished off a lovely move down the left flank, orchestrated by Tara Khatoon and herself.

Mizoram equalised in injury time through an error from the Railways goalkeeper Swarnamayee Samal, who failed to gather the ball after a cross from Elizabeth Vanlalmawii into the box. Lalnunsiami drove the ball calmly into the empty corner.

Superb save

Swarnamayee, however, redeemed herself by bringing off a superb save off the first kick in the shoot-out, taken by Grace Lalrampari Hauhnar. That would prove crucial.

In the second semifinal, the defending champion was rattled early on by an own goal by Yumlembam Pakpi Devi — the Manipur defence panicked following an Odisha counter-attack — but her teammate Yangoijam Kiranbala Chanu put one into the right goalpost with a brilliant corner-kick that beat the goalkeeper and everybody else, in first half injury time.

In the shoot-out, Odisha failed to score even once.

The final — a repeat of the tournament’s last edition — will be played on Thursday.

The results (semifinals): Manipur (Yangoijam Kiranbala Chanu 45+3) 1 (3) bt Odisha (Yumlembam Pakpi Devi 11-og) 1 (0).

Railways (Mamta 70) 1 (6) bt Mizoram (Lalnunsiami 90+4) 1 (5).

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:41:12 PM |

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