By Arka Dyuti Palit
AIFF Media Team
CUTTACK: Tamil Nadu outclassed West Bengal 4-1 in the 1st semi-final of the 23rd Senior Women’s National Football Championship 2017-18 at the Barabati Stadium here in Cuttack today (Monday, February 12, 2018).
Indumathi with a brace and Indhrani shined as the goal scorers for the southern state, with their opener coming from an own goal by West Bengal. Barnali Karar got the consolatory for Bengal. The victory also ensured Tamil Nadu’s first ever foray into the final of this event.
The match began on an even keel with both Tamil Nadu and West Bengal not letting an inch to each other. The first quarter was an intense affair with both teams relying on attacks and counter-attacks in order to penetrate the opposition defence.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 23rd minute when Sumithra R’s innocuous ball into the box was poked into her own net by namesake Sumitra Marandi to give Tamil Nadu the lead. The sudden goal changed the complexion of the game as the eastern state tried hard to hit back.
Indumathi utilised the acres of space of available to her to double the lead in the 41st as the teams headed into the break with Bengal down by two goals.
Tamil Nadu began the 2nd half in the same vein they ended the 1st as a thunderous drive from Indumathi made it 3-0. With the match slipping away, West Bengal tried to regain composure and finally pulled one back through Barnali Karar in the 60th minute. Her left footer curling into the far post to make it 3-1.
The goal seemed to revive the Bengal team as they drove forward in search of goals but Tamil Nadu hit back on the counter to sink all their hopes. Indhrani finding the net in the 88th minute to seal the affair.
Tamil Nadu will face defending champions Manipur in the final on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.
Posted on : Monday February 12, 2018