The resilient Panjim Footballers held on to a 1-1 draw against Rising Students Club of Odisha at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Monday.
Karishma Shirvoikar had scored for Panjim Footballers early on, but Satyabati Khadia equalised for Rising Students Club just before the half time break. Panjim Footballers goalkeeper Ashika Gadekar was adjudged Player of the Match for her heroics under the bar.
It was another game between two equally matched sides at the Guru Nanak Stadium. Rising Students Club were more dominant in the middle of the park and controlled long bouts of possession.
However, it was Panjim Footballers, against the run of play, who managed to take the lead, much in the same fashion as they had scored in their previous matches. An aerial through ball played in behind the defence was chansed by Karishma Shirvoikar, as she got to it just before the Rising Students Club keeper Puja Sahu and chipped it over her head into the goal.
Determined to get back on level terms, Rising Students Club launched a flurry of attacks. Eventually, striker Satyabati Khadia changed the Odisha side’s coach’s half-time talk as she emerged victorius out of a melee inside the Panjim box and nodded in a rebound from the keeper.
Rising Students Club came out with more determination to take the lead in the second half. However, Panjim Footballers had tweaked their tactics slightly, spreading the ball out to the flanks to stretch the RSC defence. This resulted in more frequent attacks by the Goan side.
Conversely, the side from Odisha started to take advantage of that to launch counter attacks of their own as they used their left winger Devneta Roy to hold the ball up and play the pacey forward Satyabati through. Devneta, however, did not last the full match, and was soon replaced by Jyosna Kishan.
Towards the end, Rising Students Club pushed substitute Ashrita Kangadi forward and used the legs of Khadia to destroy Panjim’s attacks in the middle of the park. While the Odisha side threw the proverbial kitchen sink in the dying moments, they failed to come up with the goal as the match ended in a draw. Panjim Footballers captain Linda Colaco was shown a red card after the full-time whistle for indecent conduct.