Panjim Dolphins emerge Vedanta Women’s League champions
DECEMBER 18, 2017, MAPUSA: Panjim Dolphins conquered the inaugural edition of the GFA-Vedanta Women’s League, beating SCC Cavelossim SOWS 4-3 on penalties, at Duler Stadium, Mapusa on Sunday.
Michel Castanha, Linda Calada, Karishma Shirvoikar and Remediana Noronha scored for the Panjim side while Sushmita Jadhav, Cynthia Lobo and Nevilla Colaço converted the penalties for SOWS.
Panjim Dolphins got off to a strong start as they created the first chance in the 2nd minute itself. Chelsea Crasto lobbed the ball to Karishma Shirvoikar who eased past Nevilla at the back but found her run cut short by the SOWS defence.
Sushmita Jadhav and Sujita Murgaokar of SOWS displayed good passing in midfield but the latter found her run cut short by Vega Fernandes of Panjim. Nevilla's free kick in the 22nd minute for SOWS tipped off Kushboo's head but failed to trouble the opposition goal.
Panjim Dolphins had the best chance to open the scoring. Michel Castanha’s pass inside the box was found by Karishma, who tapped it to Linda Calada. But her low strike was cleared just in time by Cynthia Lobo of SCC Sows.
The dying minutes of the first session witnessed Panjim Dolphins press hard for a goal. But, the strong pairing Nevilla Colaço and Vila Vaz went about their duties with aplomb, sweeping up any potential chances.
On the other side, Sushmita Jadhav of Sows tried moving forward but failed to get support from Namita Govekar and Kushboo. As a result both teams headed into half time goalless.
Post resumption, Michel Castanha's shot off a free kick from outside the 18 yard went above the target. On the other side, SOWS created two chances both through Sushmita Jadhav. Her first shot - a stinging effort from the edge of the box was straight to the keeper and her strike off the corner post was well caught by the Panjim keeper Candice Fernandes.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, Karishma Shirvoikar of the capital side had an impressive run from midfield but her pass into the box was well cleared by Kushboo before it could cause any danger.
Remediana Noronha of Panjim Dolphins came with two back to back chances. Her first attempt was easily parried by the SOWS keeper and she saw her second shot go high off a free kick in the 65th minute leaving the Panjim side frustrated.
The ending minutes saw the SOWS defence drop low as the Panjim side came out with stringent attacks. Nothing gave way, which took the match to penalties and the Panjim outfit came out as the better team.
In the third place game, Cuncolim Warriors edged past Goa Velha Saints 1-0 to clinch the bronze. The lone goal was scored by Valanka D'Souza.
The prizes were distributed in presence of Rev. Dr. Maria Aaradhna, Principal Carmel Convent College, Nuvem, Goa, who was the Chief Guest, Mr. Glen Ticlo, MLA, Goa Legislative Assembly, who was the Guest of Honor, Special Invitee Ms. Aditi Chauhan - ace India footballer, Mr.Annanya Agarwal - President, Sesa Football Academy, Mr. Elvis Gomes - President, Goa Football Association, Mr. Sukhvinder Singh - CEO, Sesa Football Academy, Ms. Juliana Gurjao, Chairman, Women’s Committee GFA along with members and employees of Vedanta and GFA.
Mr. Annanya Agarwal- President SFA quoted, “It is a moment of great pride and celebration today. The girls displayed a splendid performance on field and may this league be an inspiration to channelize and nurture women’s football.”
Mr. Elvis Gomes- President Goa Football Association said,“This is a historic moment for Goan football. May this league be the start of a galore of opportunities our talented women players have always deserved to get."
Ms. Michelle Castanha- Captain Panjim Dolphins quoted, “This league has been one of the best organized league we have seen by far. We are very thankful to Vedanta and GFA for all the hardwork and efforts they have put in to make this league a grand success”
Speaking on the finale, Ms.Sujitha Murgaonkar- Captain SCC SOWS quoted, “Women footballers in the state do not have the proper opportunities to train and play. This league was a fantastic opportunity for us girls and I am so proud I got to be a part of this. We are very thankful to Vedanta and GFA for organizing this league and we hope many more corporate houses and institutions would come forward for the game.”
Earlier in the evening, there was an exhibition game between specially abled men from Bihar and Tamil Nadu wherein Bihar won 2-1. The players on the field surely caught the attention of the audience with their performance.
Top goal scorer: Karishma Shivolkar (Panjim Dolphins)
Best Goalkeeper: Ashika Gadekar (Flaming Oranje)
Best Midfielder: Sushmita Jadhav (SCCC SOWS)
Best Defender: Remediana Noronha (Panjim Dolphins)
Best Striker: Valanka D’Souza (Cuncolim Warriors)