Mighty Tamil Nadu and Bengal emerged easy winners in Group A of the National Games Women’s Football in Goa on Sunday, October 29. While National champions Tamil Nadu made short work of Jharkhand, winning 3-1 in the morning session, Bengal emerged with a 3-0 victory over Manipur, considered the powerhouse of Indian women’s football.
In the Tamil Nadu versus Jharkhand encounter, all the goals came in the first half. The losers did manage to put up a fight initially as they scored through Kusma Kispotta, but three goals from Amsavalli, Karthika Angamuthu and Saritha M virtually killed their resistance.
Contrary to the first match, all the goals in the Bengal-Manipur match came in the second half. In fact, the scoring began after the hour mark, when rising star Sulanjana Raul, who came in as a substitute in place of Mamata Mahata in the 60th minute, put Bengal in the lead within one minute. She struck another in the 74th minute before Devneta Roy rounded off the tally during the add-on time.
Men’s Football set to start at the National Games
The 37th National Games is in full swing in Goa, and the Men’s Football Tournament is all set to get underway as the reigning Santosh Trophy champions Karnataka take on Punjab at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa, on Monday, October 30.
The seven best teams from last season’s Santosh Trophy, along with hosts Goa, will fight it out for the gold medal, and they have been divided into two groups of four each. Group A consists of Karnataka, Services, Punjab, and Goa, while Group B has Kerala, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, and Manipur.
Karnataka enter the competition as the favourites, as they are in hot form after winning the Santosh Trophy earlier this year, amidst much fanfare in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They became the first winners of a Santosh Trophy final that was held outside India.
It is set to be a tightly contested affair in Group A, however, as it contains two other semi-finalists in last season’s Santosh Trophy – Services and Punjab. Meanwhile, Kerala and Manipur are expected to be the top dogs of Group B, while Meghalaya, who finished runners-up in last season’s Santosh Trophy, will also look to give themselves a shot at entering the last four.
The top two sides from each group will make it to the semifinals.
No stopping Kerala, Goa in beach soccer
National champions Kerala and hosts Goa continued to be in roaring form in beach soccer at Colva Beach as they registered their second consecutive wins with big margins on Sunday.
In Group A, Kerala were the runaway 11-3 winners over Lakshadweep as Muhammed Unais (3), Ali Akbar AP (2), Basith KP (2), Roy R, Lenin Mithran, Sreejith B and Musheer TKB being the scorers.
Lakshadweep, who beat Delhi on the opening day, managed three goals through Aboohuraria, Mohsin and Abdul Hashim KPP (Lakshadweep).
In Group B, Goa reduced National Championship runners-up Punjab to a hapless lot, winning 19-5 in the end. Richard Cardoz (4), Satish Naik (4), Pedro Antonio Gonsalves (3), Kashinath Rathod (3), Carl Joshua Dsouza (2), Nehal Parab and Pratik Dhargalkar were the marksmen for Goa. Harish Tiwari (2), Kaandeep Singh Manota, Harmandeep Singh, and Inderjeet Singh scored for Punjab.
In the other two matches, Uttarakhand beat Odisha 11-7 and Jharkhand edged Delhi 4-3. For Uttarakhand, all the scoring was done by three players, Sooraj Anthony (4), Mary Jesin Shagin (4) and Sarshan (3). For the losers, Subash Pujari (3), Babul Singh (2), Rakesh Kumar Sahoo (2) found the target.
In the Jharkhand versus Delhi match, which turned out to be a well-contested one, Mahesh Murmu (2), Subhas Barua, Ashok Kumar breached the Delhi goal for the winners. David Lalthangei, Ripudaman Pokhriyal and Sunny Choudhary were Delhi’s marksmen.