Manipur edged past Odisha 2-1 to clinch the 24th Senior Women’s National Football Championships at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Monday.
Manipur Women, who had lost 1-2 to Tamil Nadu in the previous edition’s summit clash, won their 19th Senior Nationals title.
The summit clash saw a neck-and-neck affair. After a nervy start, Manipur skipper Bala Devi drew the first blood with her goal in the 45th minute. In the second half, Irom Prameshwori Devi doubled Manipur’s lead in the 50th minute.
Odisha’s managed to score through midfielder Arati Sethi’s strike with nine minutes left for play, threatening to push the match to extra-time. They, however, failed to get past the resilient Manipur defence, who went on to win the Championship.
Both Manipur and Odisha had stormed into the final on the back of hard-fought wins in their respective semifinals. Odisha beat defending champions Tamil Nadu 4-3, with a nervy winner at extra-time. Manipur, on the other hand, defeated Railways 4-3 in a thrilling penalty shootout after a goalless match.
Manipur Women top the all-time Senior National championships table with 19 wins. They have a massive 17-win lead over Bengal who are second with two wins.