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By Joseph Solomon,
AIFF Media Team


BHUBANESWAR: There was quiet metaphorically a calm before the storm. The women, dressed in blue, arrived with a subdued fanfare. Eyes tense, but bodies uptight as though trying to gaze and find their opponents to size them up before the match.


There was a winning streak to keep alive, an undefeated run to continue, a good form to consistent in, all of this might have rattled the right hemisphere of Aditi Chauhan’s brain, who led the pack down the team bus.


The left hemisphere would have quelled those doubts and asked her to trust her skills, her muscle memory and the ten playing ahead of her. The calm did last long – around 48 minutes. Then the storm came.


When Sanju on the left wing nutmegged an Iranian midfielder, knocking the ball ahead and racing down the flank as a swiftly as the wind, a smile drew up on Sweety Devi’s face watching from a distance.


Sweety had to push her defence her and cover the ground left behind by Sanju, but she did not care, happily trouncing up yards to do the work.


Telepathically, the right wing knew what to do. Dalima Chhibber rushed in accordance with Sweety and Anju lost herself between in a sea of Iranian white.


Emerging as though a beam of light parting darkness, Anju shoved and pushed around her to make space. She knew where the cross would come, she anticipated for the exact moment and touched the ball to perfection, leaving the opponents in agony and scoring the decisive goal.


The substitutes sitting alongside the coaching staff and the fans erupted as though thunder in the skies.


Then the storm withered and it remained calm of the next 42 minutes. Even after the win, the celebrations were muffed. Maymol threw a hand around Anju’s shoulder, giving her a nod of acknowledgement. The goal was brewed in the training ground, polished by sessions after session and Maymol now acknowledged the fruits of labour.


For some, the hard-fought game knocked the stuffing out of them but still left them with eyes filled with joy.


The calm was then once again penetrated with Aditi Chauhan leading the celebration proceedings in the team bus. Hollering, cheering and clapping. Her left hemisphere of the brain had won, and this is how.

Posted on : Sunday February 10, 2019