IWL: Eastern Sporting Union to meet Rising Student's club in final

Eastern Sporting Union - thanks to a Kamala Devi hat-trick - brushed aside Alakhpura FC 4-1 to set up a clash with Rising Student’s Club in the Final of the inaugural edition of the Indian Women’s League.

Eastern Sporting Union players celebrate after their match.   -  Special Arrangement

Eastern Sporting Union - thanks to a Kamala Devi hat-trick - brushed aside Alakhpura FC 4-1 to set up a clash with Rising Student’s Club in the Final of the inaugural edition of the Indian Women’s League.

Kashmina (11’) and Kamala Devi (39’, 84’,90’) were on the scoresheet for Eastern Sporting Union.

Although end-to-end action ensued in the opening minutes of the match, it was Eastern Sporting Union who had better opportunities. In the 5th minute, Kamala Devi’s shot was saved by the Alakhpura custodian. Alakhpura also fostered some decent goal scoring chances, even though only from distance.

In the 11th minute, Sanju burst through the ESU defence line and Panthoi Chanu saved her shot from more than 20 yards out. In the 17th minute, Kashmina gave the lead to Eastern Sporting Union when she side-stepped her marker and slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Kamala Devi doubled ESU’s lead in the 39th minute when her left footed shot from outside of the box left the Alakhpura custodian wrong-footed and crashed into the back of the net as ESU lead 2-0 at half-time.

Changing over, Kamala Devi came close to tripling ESU’s lead when her half volley was palmed away by the opposition custodian, minutes before her shot had hit the woodwork in the 48th minute.

In the 55th minute, Sanju came close to reducing Alakhpura’s deficit when she ran onto goal, but with only the opposition custodian to beat, she placed her shot wide of the goal.

Alakhpura finally managed to get a goal back as Sanju poked the ball home to make it 2-1. Nisha had a chance to put things on level terms in the 70th minute but she failed to make a proper connection with the shot.

With Alakhpura riding high on morale, Eastern Sporting Union committed bodies into defence as its opponent started to dominate proceedings.

However Kamala Devi scored in the 84th minute and completed her hat-trick 90th minute to quell all hopes of a comeback as the full-time scoreline read 4-1 in ESU’s favour.

RISING STUDENT'S CLUB DEFEATS FC PUNE CITY

In the first semifinal, Rising Student’s Club entered the final of the inaugural edition of the Indian Women’s League following its 2-0 win over FC Pune City at the Ambedkar Stadium here.

Goals from Sasmita Malik (30’) and AIFF Player of the Year 2015 Pyari Xaxa (65’) led Rising Student’s Club to a hard fought win over its opponents in a match that was largely contested in the midfield.

Rising Student’s Club started as the favourite to win the tie and it looked to attack from the whistle. In the 5th minute, Sasmita Malik came close to taking the lead when she latched onto a Pyari through ball on the flanks, but failed to score from a narrow angle.

Four minutes later, Anju Tamang failed to hit the target from inside the box as Rising Student pressed for an goal. The early goal, however eluded Rising Student as chances upfront were often miscued, whilst FC Pune City relied on counter-attacks to test Rising Student’s citadel.

The goal however did come for Rising Student’s in the 30th minute and in a bizarre fashion when Sasmita Malik’s corner kick hit the woodwork and went in to give Rising Student’s a solitary goal lead. The half-time scoreline read 1-0.

Rising Student almost doubled its lead in the 55th minute when Anju Tamang rushed to take advantage of an onrushing opponent custodian but could only chip it over her.

In the 65th minute, Pyari Xaxa slotted her shot comfortably past the opposition custodian to double Rising Student’s lead after she latched onto a through ball from the midfield.

FC Pune City tried to break the midfield and defence of Rising Student’s Club through counter-attacks but failed to create anything substantial. With Rising Student’s Club committing bodies to defend its lead, the task became herculean for FC Pune City.

Shots from long range seldom threatened the Rising Student custodian and at the end of time the full-time scoreline read 2-0 in Rising Student’s Club’s favour as it became the first team to qualify for the final on February 14, 2017.

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