Rising Students Club were crowned champions of the second edition of the Hero Indian Womens League (IWL) football tournament as they defeated defending champions Eastern Sporting Union (ESU) 5-4 on penalties after the full-time scoreline read 1-1 here on Saturday.
Rising Students Club of Cuttack started the match on an attacking note and in the 3rd minute a scramble from inside the box led Ngoubi Devi to shoot wide of goal. Undeterred by the early pressure, ESU staged attacks of their own and in the 13th minute Roja Devi found the back of the net from outside the box as her shot left the opposition goalkeeper wrong footed.
In the 19th minute, Mandakini Devi's attempt from a tight angle inside the box hit the side-netting as ESU pressed to double their lead. Supriya Routray had a chance to equalise proceedings for Rising Students Club in the 40th minute after a corner kick found her free of any marking player, but her shot went wide of the goal.
The half-time scoreline read 1-0 in favour of ESU at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Changing over, ESU hunted to double their lead while Rising Students Club played on counter-attacks. The constant pressure from ESU led Rising Students Club to commit bodies into defence.
In the 51st minute, Roja Devi connected on a cross from the flank but her shot from inside the box went way wide of the goal, as ESU showed their intent.
The defensive line of ESU mopped up any Rising Students Club attacks that cropped up with ease, while the midfield held onto possession of the ball.
Much against the run of play in the Rising Students Club were awarded a penalty in the 71st minute after a foul inside the box and Sanju slotted the ball home from the spot to level proceedings as the scoreline read 1-1. The full-time scoreline read the same as the match proceeded into extra time.
In the 94th minute, the Rising Students' defence line blocked Roja Devi's shot from inside the box and two minutes later, Mandakini Devi's freekick was saved by the opposing custodian. In the 105th minute, Roja Devi's shot went inches wide the goal as she attempted to shoot from outside of the box.
ESU pressed for the decisive goal but failed to find the net and after 120 minutes of play the scoreline still read 1-1 as the match proceeded to penalties where Rising Students Club eventually won 5-4.
Meanwhile, Rising Students Club were awarded Rs 10 lakhs for being crowned champions of, while ESU were awarded Rs 5 lakhs for being runners-up.
For finishing top scorer with 12 goals, Bala Devi was awarded Rs 1 lakh, while Panthoi Chanu was awarded Rs 1 lakh for bagging the 'Best Goalkeeper Award'.
The 'Most Valuable Player' was awarded to Prameshwori Devi with Rs 1.25 lakh and Dangmei Grace won Rs 75,000 for bagging the 'Emerging Player Award'.
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