Manipur: After a series of substantial penalty shootout at the Senior Women’s National Football Championship crown, Manipur finally bagged the win over Railways in the final which took place at the EMS Stadium in Kozhikode on December 9.
About the match in Manipur:
The match was full of penalties with the scores at 0-0. Manipur goalkeeper Okram Roshini Devi brought out three saves in order to bag their 21st title at this level. It was just after a shortfall of chances of scoring goals in regulation and extra time.
Team Manipur dominated the ground in the entire game but failed to break through the Defence of the Railways who stood firm in the game. The lack of discernment was the consequence of a series of comprehensive efforts from Manipur’s team which did not trouble opposition goalkeeper Swarnamayee Samal.
Samal almost gifted them a winning goal in the 90th minute after misjudging the flight of a cross but her defence was on hand to bail her out.
The consistency of the game and the physical pressure was clearly seen on the players of both sides. Both teams went through tie-breakers in the semi-finals to get to this stage and fatigue started to play a big role as players went down with cramps and muscle injuries.
In the penalty shootout, both sides were level after the third spot-kick having missed one, scored one and had one saved. Hereafter, Roshini Devi gave two more rescue. And then Winger Yangoijam Kiranbala Devi scored a crucial fourth penalty to turn the tide in Manipur’s favour.
Coach Oinam Bembem Devi who trained the players expressed her happiness saying, “I’m very happy to add this title to the one I won as a player. The girls played a really good game and I am proud that they have successfully defended this title.”
Formerly, the coach has also won the national women’s title as a player.