AIFF-Indian Women’s League 2017-18
Second win for Sethu FC in as many matches
Sethu Football Club (Madurai) brushed aside CM’s XI J&K State Sports Council 2-0 on Monday for their second win in as many matches in the AIFF-Indian Women’s League Qualifying Group A being played in Kolhapur (Maharashtra).
Teenager Manisha and M Nandhini scored for Sethu FC, which is the only team from Tamil Nadu participating in the premier competition being organised by the All India Football Federation. The Group topper will qualify for the main draw.
Sethu FC had opened their campaign in the five-team all-play-all Group with a 16-0 rout of Baroda Football Academy last week, and the momentum appeared to be clearly with the team as R Sumithra scored in the opening minute but the goal was declared off-side.
Manisha pumped in the opening goal in the 29th minute, scoring off a neat pass by Puja Karmakar from the right wing.
Sethu FC breached J&K’s defense for their second goal in the 79th minute, set up beautifully by Velanie Fernandes and Laura Estibeiro from the mid-field with the finishing touches provided by Nandhini, who came on as substitute for Sumithra who had scored six goals in the opening match including a hat-trick. Both Manisha and Nandhini had also scored in the opening match.
The margin would have been bigger today had the side not wasted several scoring opportunities, especially in the first half.
Rutuja Gunwant, adjudged Player of the match, stood out for her defensive skills, especially in one-on-one situations. Also the team’s skipper, Rutuja was elated about the win. “We have been working hard for the past three months,” she said.
“The big win in the first match gave us a lot of confidence and we were trying to maintain the same momentum. We could have scored more goals today, we fell short on conversion,” she added.
Sethu FC will next meet Indira Gandhi AS&E (Pondicherry) on Dec 1.
Meanwhile, Sethu FC coach Kalpana Dass said: “Compared to the last match, we had a good fight this time. We also used the opportunity to test our bench strength, which is good going forward…”
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