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Odisha eves storm into National Women’s Football final

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Odisha Sun Times Sports Bureau
Golaghat (Assam), May 10:

The Odisha eves stormed into the final of the 20th Senior Women’s National Football Championship-2014 after they trounced Jharkhand by 3-0 goals in the semi-final here on Saturday afternoon.

Odisha are the defending champion in this tournament.

Jabamani Soren. Odisha
Jabamani Soren. Odisha

Jabamani Soren was the star performer who scored two goals for her team in the 23rd 54th minute while Subhaprava Rout completed the rout with lovely free kick in the 70th minute.

This was the sixth straight win for Odisha. Earlier, they had defeated Mizoram, Haryana, Karnataka, Gujarat and Goa.

IANS adds :

Defending champions Orissa and 16-time winners Manipur will face-off in Monday’s title clash of the 20th Women’s National Championships after they beat Jharkhand and Delhi in the semifinals played here Saturday.

Manipur thrashed Delhi 7-0 while Orissa rode on a fine brace from Jabamani Soren to outshine a determined Jharkhand 3-0.

In the first semifinal, it all began in the 24th minute when Manipur captain and Player of the Year Oinam Bembem Devi mercilessly broke Delhi’s resilience with a delectable left-footer that crashed into the top corner.

It was Manipur from there on. India forward Bala Devi netted a hattrick either side of half-time with India internationals Dangmei Grace, Parmeshwori Devi and rookie Ngonbi Devi also getting on the scoresheet.

Bala Devi was in terrific form scoring her first with a low shot from just outside the box three minutes after Bembem had given the North Eastern side the lead. Dangmei Grace joined the party with a 30- yard effort that swerved its way past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner six minutes before halftime.

file pic
file pic

Bala Devi netted her second ten minutes into the second half. The fifth goal came at a cost as a collision just outside the area saw India defender Ashalata Devi being felled awkwardly by Parmeshwori Devi who went on to round the keeper for an easy tap in. Ashalata had to be substituted immediately.

Bala completed her hattrick in the 82nd minute prodding home Parmeshwori’s inch perfect cross from the left, while youngster Ngonbi Devi completed the rout four minutes from full time.

The second semi-final was a not as much a lopsided affair with Jharkhand’s 3-0 reversal not doing justice to the young side’s – full of mostly U-17 players – valiant display and never-say-die attitude.

It took Orissa 23 minutes to break the deadlock. Jabamani, who was the cynosure of all eyes with her nimble-footed dribbling and brilliant link up play with the other goal scorer of the game Subha Prava Rout, let loose a rasping right-footer from 25 yards that cannoned up and over the rival goalkeeper into the roof of the net.

The change of ends saw no change in the fortunes of Jharkhand as Jabamani and Subha Parva combined well to double the advantage for Orissa. A teasing cross from the byline by Subha Prava saw Jabamani leap highest to nod home from close range.

Lady luck did not elude Subha Prava for all the hard work she put in. Taking a sharp deflection off the wall, the winger’s free kick from just outside the box kept low and beat the keeper who couldn’t get down in time to avert the danger.