National Games football: Odisha Lost To Manipur

National Games football: Odisha Lost To Manipur
National Games football: Odisha Lost To Manipur
National Games football: Manipur down Odisha 2-0 to retain women’s crown

October 11

Manipur successfully defended their National Games women’s football title by defeating Odisha 2-0 in Monday’s championship match at the Eka Arena Transstadia under floodlights. Both goals occurred in the opening period.

Manipur, coached by the legendary midfielder Oinam Bembem Devi and led by the ace India forward Ngangom Bala Devi, established early dominance. They scored both goals in the first half only. Bala Devi was the pivot of Manipur’s offensive moves, using her experience to set up the offensive action.

The four Manipur forwards peppered the Odisha goal with a series of tries, resulting in a largely unidirectional flow of play toward the Odisha goal. Spandita Das, the goalkeeper for the opposing team, handled the regulation shots with ease, while others sailed over the crossbar or went wide off the goal.

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Bala Devi, who attempted to get into scoring positions with her twists and turns, scored for the champions in the 10th minute with a shot from inside the penalty area that Spandita Das was unable to stop. N. Ratanbala Devi doubled the lead with a long-range grounder in the 36th minute, according to a press release issued by the tournament’s organizers on Monday.

Odisha, coached by ex-Mohun Bagan player Crispin Chettri, exhibited greater resolve and cohesion in the second half and scored some long-range goals. They earned a few advantages that they were unable to capitalize on. Odisha lacked a special player who could make a difference on the field, despite the efforts of captain and central defender Manisa Panna to rally her team.

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However, late in the game, the Odisha attack came to life. Pyari Xaxa and Satyabati Khadia compelled Manipuri goalkeeper ML Devi to make a save.


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