Manipur retains women's football title

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Manipur retained the National Women's Football champion title, scoring an emphatic 2-0 win over West Bengal in the final.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Manipur retained the National Women's Football champion title, scoring an emphatic 2-0 win over Bengal in the final here. Manipur scored once in each half through Manithombi Devi and A Sakhitombi Devi. Tuesday's win caps Manipur's fine run in national football championship. The state had earlier won the Santosh Trophy and claimed the Junior Mens' National Championship title early last year. Many had questioned the wisdom of having the women's football nationals at a time when the Indian team was playing in the Asian championships in Bangkok. However, it didn’t seem to make a difference. In the 11-year history of the championship, Manipur has now won the title nine times while appearing in all the previous finals. Bengal have won the title twice. The first goal was scored in the early minutes of the game and Manipur won the match by two goals to zero. This was a pretty one-sided final between Manipur and West Bengal. There has been some pretty good footage on the field and a lot of excitement off the field in the stands. "The people are watching women's football for the first time. It's more than a league crowd, a local league crowd or a national league crowd. In the future, I hope the stadium will be full," said K Sankar, International Referee. "Till I get to play in an international league, I would like to play for India," observed Sapna Guria, Bengal Football Team. Victory was sweet for the Manipur team who took part without their ace footballers. "I was confident that we will win," said an ecstatic Sulochana, Captain, Manipur Team. "I am very happy. This is not my first team, it's my second team. The heroes of yesterday are becoming heroes also," said Ekendra Singh, Coach, Manipur Team. For the girls from Manipur, it was a hard-fought victory and for football lovers in Chennai, it was a first-time experience to witness women on the football field. (With PTI inputs)

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