Holders Orissa, Jharkhand win on first day of women''s football

Jamshedpur, Feb 13 (PTI) Defending champions Orissa andhosts Jharkhand began their campaign in women''s footballcompetition in the National Games on a winning note withvictories over Tamil Nadu and Haryana respectively here today.

Orissa came from behind to beat Tamil Nadu 3-1 whileJharkhand defeated Haryana 4-2 in Group ''A'' matches on theinaugural day of competition at JRD Tata Sports complex here.

In Group ''B'', last edition semifinalists Bengal had tosweat out before defeating Assam 4-2 in a closely-fought matchin front of a sizeable crowd.

In the first match of the day, Orissa women dominated theproceedings right from the beginning making repeated forays inthe first half.

Tamil Nadu''s forward M Sathya drew the first blood in the34th minutes after she grabbed the ball from a mis-kick byOrissa goalkeeper Swarnamayee Samal and lobbed it over her togive her team the lead.

Orissa, who defeated Manipur in finals of the lastedition of the National Games in Guwahati, put their acttogether and bounced back into the match as Pinky managed toscore the equalizer in the 46th minute.

Pinky received an accurate pass from mid-fielder ManishaPanna from left flank and dodged the Tamil Nadu custodian P.

Satyavani to score the equalizer.

Orissa did not allow the rivals into their zones afterboth the teams locked 1-1 and Pinky received a mid-field passand dribbled passed the Tamil Nadu''s defence line convertinganother goal within two minutes.

After the breather, Orissa continued to attack the rivalbastion but missed the target at least couple of times.

However, Jilli Munda, who substituted the Orissa captainSradhanjali Samantaray in the first half, scored the thirdgoal after receiving a pass from Pinky near goalmouth in the74th minute.

In another Group A match, hosts Jharkhand defeatedHaryana 4-2 at the same venue.

19-year-old striker Dular Marandi scored all the fourgoal (15th, 31st, 45th, 65th) for Jharkhand while Rajni andMinakshi scored a goal each for Haryana.

Marandi, a Xth standard student from Hazaribagh, put theteam into the lead after she received a cross from rightwinger Jaspina Hasse and neatly placed the ball in the 15thminute.

Marandi, who impressed the selectors following herimpressive performance at the Junior National at Jammu lastmonth, scored the second goal off Captain Negi Mardi''s passbut Rajni fetched the reducer for Haryana just second beforethe lemon break. .

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