Manipur to face Railways in Women's National Championships final

Defending champions Manipur defeated Odisha via penalty shoot-out in their semi-final to set up a summit clash against Railways in the Senior Women's National Football Championship in Kozhikode on Tuesday.

Manipur and Odisha were locked in a 1-1 stalemate after regulation 90 minutes and 30 minutes of extra time before the penalty shoot-out was ordered. Three Manipuri players scored while none from Odisha found the target in the penalty shoot-out.

In the other semifinal, Railways beat Mizoram, also via penalty shootout, 6-5 after both sides were locked 1-1 in the regulation and extra time.

The final will be played on Friday. The match between Manipur and Odisha began on a slow pace with both teams testing each other out and chances were few and far between. The only highlight of the first half was when Papki Devi scored an own goal which gave Odisha the early lead in the 11th minute.

Both sides kept plugging away at each other, but were unable to find the second goal of the match.

Just when Odisha were looking at the prospect of going into the breather with 1-0 lead, Manipur's Kiranbala Chanu (45+3) rose to the occasion in the dying minutes of the first half and scored from a beautiful corner to level the score.

In the 67th minute, Odisha's Jasoda Munda took a free-kick but it went wide off the crossbar. In the 70th minute, Deepa Nayak created a great opportunity, but the striker's shot was brilliantly saved by Manipur's custodian Roshini Devi.

Odisha maintained the pressure on Manipur's defence in the extra time with constant attacks, but the Northeastern side kept on thwarting them.

In the penalty shoot-out, it was a perfect record for Manipur as Babysana Devi, Roja Devi and Sultana MS netted their spot kicks, while Jasoda Munda, Subhadra Sahu and Suman Pragyana Mohapatra missed for Odisha.