Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh won Sub-Junior Girls’ National Football Championship semifinal matches against Bihar and Gujarat respectively at the Barabati Stadium today, June 18 to set-up the Final against each other.
While Jharkhand came back from two goals down to beat Bihar on penalties, Arunachal Pradesh produced a dominant display against Gujarat to make their way to the Final.
JHARKHAND COME FROM 2 GOALS BEHIND TO SNATCH VICTORY
Jharkhand completed a thrilling victory over neighbours Bihar, as they pounced back in the last 10 minutes of the regulation time to overcome a two-goal deficit. While the match itself ended with a 3-3 scoreline, Jharkhand pipped it 4-3 on penalties.
It was a close start to the game as Jharkhand looked to take the early initiative passing it around. However, Bihar took the lead against the run of play, as Lucky Kumari broke free on the counter and plonked it over the keeper’s head.
They soon doubled that lead, when captain Pallavi Kumari tapped a square pass across the face of the goal into the net. However, Jharkhand took just a minute to pull one back, as Soni Munda ran on to a low cross and put it past the Bihar keeper.
Bihar captain Pallavi, however, ensured that her side headed into the tunnel with a two-goal lead at half time, as she nodded in a cross in the third minute of time added on at the end of the first hialf.
Jharkhand came hard at Bihar in the second half, and only got the fruits of their labour in the last couple of minutes of regulation time, when captain Salina Kumari pulled one back, before Soni Munda scored her second to level the scores at 3-3.
With the scores still level after Extra Time, Jharkhand went on to win it on penalties, as Sindhu Kumari and Sabara Khatun missed two early penalties to put Bihar on the back foot. While Sonam Kumari also missed the fourth penalty for Jharkhand, Modita Kujur converted their fifth to put them in the final.
ARUNACHAL PRADESH DOMINATE GUJARAT
Arunachal Pradesh were dominant as ever against Gujarat, as Tallo Ana went on to score a hat-trick in a convincing win against Gujarat. With the three goals in this game, Ana moved her tally to 15 goals, the highest so far, in this edition of the tournament.
The North-eastern side got off the blocks early on, as Tallo Ana rounded off Gujarat goalkeeper Ankitaben Prajapati Thakor, before firing it into the net in the sixth minute.
Arunachal doubled their lead just before the water-break, when captain Simran Zeeba struck a long-range free-kick that sailed over the Gujarat keeper and into the net.
Gujarat did come out with more initiative in the second half, but they soon ran out of steam, and Arunachal capitalised on that, as Ana netted her second from a goalmouth melee.
The Arunachal striker put the proverbial cherry on top of the cake, when she dribbled past the Gujarat defence on the 80th minute and slotted it past the keeper to make it four.
Arunachal are now set to square-off against Jharkhand in the final on Thursday, June 20, at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. The match will kick-off at 3:30pm.