Manipur trounce Odisha to win the Junior girls National Football championship
Defending champions Manipur once again retained their Junior girls football championship after they defeated Odisha 3-2 in the final at Barabati stadium, Cuttack
Two teams that were invincible until the finals of the Championship produced an enthralling game in the final, where defending champions Manipur defeated Odisha in a closely contested affair.
Starting alongside Telangana and Chandigarh in Group E Manipur had won both the group games annihilating their opponents. Beating Chandigarh 7-1 and Telangana 16-0, Manipur advanced to quarter-final. In the quarter final, Manipur went on another goal scoring spree beating Tamil Nadu 12-0. In the semi final, Manipur finally faced some competition as they narrowly edged past Delhi 2-1
At the other end, Odisha too had an easy journey grouped in with Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh; Odisha took off with a pulsating start hammering Himachal Pradesh 7-0 and then crushing Gujarat 5-1. Odisha eased into the semis after defeating strong Maharashtra with a 4-1 score line in the quarter finals. In the last four, Odisha had another good game against West Bengal, whom they beat 3-0.
On their road to their finals, both sides had scored plenty of goals to their name. While Odisha scored 19 goals and concede just 2, Manipur had almost twice the number, scoring 37 times while conceding just twice. The final was supposed to test the side’s both defensive ability and scoring boots.
And it was Manipur that came up triumph in the final for the third time. In a closely contested game, Odisha playing in front of the home crowd gave a stiff fight before going down 3-2 against the North-eastern side.
Manipur drew the first blood in the 22nd minute, when T Kritina Devi scored the first goal. Four minutes before half time, Manipur doubled the lead through A. Roja Devi but two minutes later Odisha came back in to the game after a mistake from Manipur defence gave away a own goal. Both the sides entered the break at 2-1 score line with the host trailing by a goal.
The second half began with Odisha playing more positively in search of equaliser and in the 79th minute it was Odisha’s Suman Mohapatra who equalised to make things interesting. But Just when it looked the game was headed for extra-time, A Roja Devi scored in the first minute of Injury time to put Manipur back in to the lead.
Eventually the game ended with the defending champions Manipur winning their third title in as many years.
Manipur 3 (T Kritina Devi 22’, A. Roja Devi 41’, 90+1’) – 2 Odisha (Manipur Own Goal, Suman Mohapatra 79’)