Manipur Police qualified to the semi-finals of the 2019 Indian Women’s League (IWL) after an emphatic 7-1 win over FC Kolhapur City.
Ngangom Bala Devi scored a hat-trick (15’, 45+3’, 79’) to take her tally for the season to 16 goals. Daya Devi (58’) – who was the Player of the Match - and Pramodini Chanu (75’) grabbed one each while Prameshwori Devi scored a brace (12’, 90’) to thump seven past a hapless Kolhapur side.
Crystal Nnenna Eke (21’) pulled one back in consolation for Kolhapur.
The game was set to be an evenly contested affair, with Kolhapur’s Eke touted to make a difference. But her team were already two goals down before she got to stamp her name on the score-sheet. Manipur carried a two-goal lead to the break, but it looked like they had the game in the bag.
Manipur took off in the second half, adding four more goals.
Kolhapur were finding it hard to break Manipur’s well-orchestrated off-side trap that prevented Eke from making an impact on the game.
The highlight of the game was Bala Devi dribbling past three players to lay it off for Pramodini Devi who fired the ball past the keeper and completed her hat-trick.
Elsewhere, a late strike from Deepa Nayak (76’) left Bangalore United in the hunt for their first win of the tournament as SAI-STC Cuttack emerged 1-0 winners in what later turned out to be an inconsequential contest in the qualification scenario.
Nayak scored from the spot to hand them the win while Jyoti Kumari was awarded the Player of the Match for her solid shift at the back.
Bangalore started the game on the front foot with Paromita Sit and Tanvie Hans leading the line. Their possession-based football failed to bear fruit against a resolute defence that was bent on keeping a clean-sheet.
Cuttack saw an opportunity from a counter and earned a penalty through a Sivasankari Arumugam handball. Nayak converted it and handed her team all three points.
With Manipur winning their game and enjoying a better head-to-head, Cuttack’s fate in the qualification scenario remained unchanged despite the win.