Change is on its way as Orissa wins women’s national championship


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Orissa created history after winning the Senior Women’s National Football Championship this year, becoming the only team after Manipur and West Bengal to win this competition, which now has completed its 19th edition. Orissa, who have missed out the trophy three times, when the finished runner’s up in 2002, 2008 and 2010, finally won by defeating West Bengal 5-0. The five goal margin win is also the biggest win by any team in finals of this 19 year old competition.

This year, from the beginning, Orissa looked determined to win the competition. Before the finals, they had played 6 matches, scoring 47 goals and conceding only once! They had scored more than 10 goals thrice and have never scored less than 4 goals. The final was against three times champions West Bengal, who also were having a great run in the tournament, scoring 26 goals and conceding only once. So, a great final was on the cards in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh on 17th May. However, much to everyone’s surprise, Orissa ended the final by retaining the typical dominance they had shown in the whole tournament. Orissa’s 5-0 win over Bengal, however, was not without drama.

The first half of the match went well, with Orissa taking the lead as early as 6th minute via Sasmita Mallick’s goal. At the half time, the score was still 1-0 and the Bengal girls were still in contention. However, in the second half, heavy rainfall accompanied by winds started, making the conditions unplayable. According to the Bengal camp, the wind direction was favoring Orissa and thus, there were heavy protests from them to stop the game. The game went on and Orissa netted four goals in quick succession. The scorers were Jabamani Soren (53’), Pinki Bompal Magare (66’), Sardhanjali (73’) and Sasmita Mallick (77’). After a huge argument between Bengal camp and the organizers, in the 85th minute, it was decided that the match can be stopped and remaining five minutes can be played in the next morning! Needless to say, that the damage was already done for the Bengal team by then, and playing the last 5 mins next morning at 6.30 am sounded a ridiculous idea, inviting heavy sarcasm from the fans in our forum. Next morning the remaining game was played, with the results remaining same.

Although, the final was marred by these controversies, Orissa team still deserves to win the tournament as they produced one of the best displays in the competition. It was also a welcome change to get a new winner other than Manipur and Bengal after 19 years of this tournament. We hope the players are awarded deserving rewards by their state associations too and the performers of this tournament get national team call, although unfortunately our women’s national team largely stays dormant. We hope to see women’s football more often.


Click here for full fixtures, results and point tables : Courtesy IFN member ‘mcriuc’


Indian Football Network Forum discussions: 19th Senior Women’s National Football Championship 2010-11 , Women’s Football


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