LUDHIANA: SSB Women Football team opened their account in the 2018-19 Hero Indian Women’s League with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Eastern Rivals Rising Student Club, as a fabulous long-ranger by Sangita Basfore made the difference between the two teams.
It was a frantic start to the game as SSB and RSC had a real go at each other in the opening exchanges.
SSB looked to make their India International Sangita Basfore the focal point of their attacks. Basfore, who generally plays midfield for the National Team did tend to drop back, but she was constantly urged by coach Barun Sengupta to push forward.
Meanwhile, RSC attempted their attacks through the hold-up play of India U-18 International Devneta Roy.
A little after the quarter-hour mark, SSB forward Dular Marandi had the biggest chance of the game yet, as she was played in behind the RSC defence, cut inside and took a shot on goal. But her shot was saved by RSC keeper Rani Bhowmick.
However, it was the former who got the goal just minutes before the halftime break. Basfore turned inside and unleashed a fierce shot from around 35 yards out that left RAC keeper Rani Bhowmick, who otherwise had an excellent game, with no chance.
The side from Bengal continued the pressure in the second half, but in a much more controlled manner. Basfore dropped deep into the midfield, the holding position that she is so familiar with in the National Team colours.
Bhowmick made save after save to keep RSC in the match as the game wore on. SSB had the chance to double the score towards the end, when Sumila Chanu broke free and unleashed a shot in a one-on-one position, but it was saved again by Bhowmick, who was given the Player of the Match award.
SSB Women Football Club 1 (Sangita Basfore 43')
bt Rising Student Club 0
Manisha wins it for Gokulam Kerala
Gokulam Kerala FC were triumphant once again, as they beat a resilient FC Alakhpura side 1-0 via a goal from their teenage sensation Manisha, at the Guru Nanak Stadium, here, on Monday, May 7.
Gokulam, who had shown their strength by beating defending champions Rising Student Club 5-0 in their last game on Sunday, started off at good pace. However, Alakhpura came out with a concrete plan to thwart the side from Kerala and pounce on the counter attacks.
Manisha made her mark in the game, when she nodded a powerful header into the Alakhpura net 71st minute off a cross from the right flank. This being her fourth goal of the tournament, propelled her back to the top of the scorers’ charts, where she is tied with Sethu FC’s Nepali striker Sabitra Bhandari.
Gokulam Kerala FC 1 (Manisha 71’)
bt FC Alakhpura 0
Hans Women FC beat Panjim Footballers
Over at the GHG Khalsa University Ground in Ludhiana, Hans Women FC fought hard in an exciting 3-2 win over Panjim Footballers, courtesy a brace from striker Anushka Samuel. Hans had got off to a good start with Uchenna Rita Casia Ukachukwu’s early effort going wide of the post.
Anushka put the Delhi side in front right after the half-hour mark, but Panjim forward Karishma Shirvoikar soon equalised as she finished off a brilliant pass from Jeromina Colaco. Anushka scored yet another goal in the second half, but that too was equalised via a penalty by Karishma.
In the end, it was Jyoti Ann Burrett, who scored the winning goal in the 80th minute, to hand Hans Women FC the three points.
Hans Women FC 3 (Anushka Samuel 31’, 65’, Jyoti Ann Burrett 80’)
bt Panjim Footballers (Karishma 44’, 76’ P)