Pune beats Nagpur to set up a clash against Mumbai in final

Pune got the better of Nagpur 6-4 via the tie-breaker in the semi-final match of the LIC-Maharashtra State Inter-District Senior Women’s Football Championship -2016, organized by MDFA (Mumbai District Football Association) and played under lights at the Cooperage ground, on Thursday evening.

The scores were level at 1-1 at the end of the 60-minute regulation period before the Pune team successfully converted all their five attempts from the penalty spot. Nagpur captain Esther Kujur saw her attempt from the first penalty saved by Alisha Ranikhetwala, who stood under the Pune bar for the penalty kicks and that proved costly for them.

After Nikita Karmarkar with a long range effort put Nagpur in the lead in the ninth minute, but two minutes later, Pune who were more dominant restored parity through consistent scorer Smriti Girish who beat Nagpur goalkeeper Echa Sahare, who was outstanding in goal throughout the match.

Thereafter, Pune attackers relentless raided the Nagpur territory, but they were unable to break down the rival defence marshaled by stoppers Priyanka Lanjewar and Vinita Bhalari who made some timely tackles. Goalkeeper Echa also showed great anticipation and came up with some brilliant collections to restrict the Pune strikers to just one goal in normal time. She was, however, unable to make a single save in the crucial tie-breaker.

In the penalty shootout duel, Pune converted through Smithi Girish, Alisha Ranikhetwala, Hiba Faquih, Darshan Sanas and Muriel Adam, while Nagpur could only score through Nikita Karmarkar, Riya Sukhandane and Veshashri Pohane.

Pune will take on hosts Mumbai in the final to be played at the Cooperage ground on Friday, May 6 at 5.00 pm.

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