Odisha women clinch sr national football title

Bhilai: Continuing their fine form, Odisha blanked three-time champions Bengal 5-0 to clinch their maiden title in the 19th edition of the Senior National women`s football championship at Pant Stadium here on Wednesday.

Orissa`s leading goal scorer Sasmita Mallick struck a brace (5th and 80th), while Jabamoni Soren (50th), Pinky Magar (60th) and Shradhanjali Samantaray (71st) fired in one each to complete the rout.

With five minutes remaining, Odisha had an unassailable 5-0 lead when heavy showers stopped play on Tuesday.

Odisha completed the formalities when the play resumed this morning.

Incidentally, this was the biggest margin defeat suffered by any team in the championship`s final, surpassing Bengal`s 0-4 loss to Manipur in the second edition of the tournament in 1992-93.

The reigning National Games champions, Odisha, thus erased the bitter memories in the final of the last edition of the tournament in Imphal where they lost to Manipur who won their record 14th title.

"We had beaten Bengal 4-0 in the quarterfinal league…

So we were confident of winning against the same team in the final. Had it been Manipur, the girls would have been a little apprehensive. It`s really a proud moment for us," an ecstatic Odisha coach Chitrasen Patra told PTI.

Odisha routed former runners-up Kerala 13-0, blanked Haryana and Bengal by identical scorelines of 4-0 to top group B in their quarterfinal league.