Manipur beat Haryana 2-0 to win record-extending 22nd NFC Rajmata Jijabai Trophy

Kolkata, May 15 (IANS) Manipur defeated Haryana 2-0 in a hard-fought battle in the final to win the record-extending 22nd NFC Rajmata Jijabai Trophy.

The resilient Haryana defense kept their composure despite repeated attempts by the pacy Manipur attack in the first half. Haryana were dealt a major blow in the second half when wing-back Samiksha was shown a red card for a foul on Dagmei Grace in the 65th minute of the game reducing the team to ten players and giving a penalty to Manipur in the process. Haryana captain Shreya Hooda saved Devi’s penalty attempt and also the following rebound to keep her team in the game.

It did not take Manipur long to open the scoring after that as a ball cleared by the Manipur defense in the 68th minute made its way into the box which was met by a brilliant half-turn and goal by Bala Devi who was also named the player of the tournament as she was tied for most goals scored.

The Haryana defense broke down from there on out as a through ball in the 83rd minute saw Sibani Devi through on goal which she buried back in the net without any difficulty.

This was Manipur’s revenge on their opponents who they had lost 1-0 to in their final group encounter. The loss against Haryana saw Manipur drop to second place in Group B and set up an exciting semi-final encounter against heavy favorites and defending champions, Tamil Nadu in the semi-final whom they defeated 2-0.

Haryana on the other hand will hold their heads up high and look to improve on this impressive run which saw them reach the finals of the competition for the first time.



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