Cuttack, July 16 (IANS) Defending champions Manipur will aim to lift the silverware when they take on Haryana in the final of the Junior Girls National Football Championships at the Barabati Stadium here on Sunday.
The Manipur girls, under coach Chaoba Devi, have bamboozled every opponent having inundated them with goals. They possess an intimidating attacking line-up comprising of Ratanbala Devi, Hemolata Devi and Daya Devi — who have registered not less than 26 goals in the quarter-final stage and six goals against Tamil Nadu in the semi-final.
On the other hand, the Haryana girls have emphasised on their sharp counter-attacking ability to churn out results. The frontline attackers, Nisha and Renu, have always coordinated well to wreck the rivals.
“Although we have performed meticulously till now, the final will be a different ball game altogether. We have to start from scratch. It’s not about feats. It’s about representing our state. We will give our best,” Chaoba Devi said.
” It’s true that we have scored goals aplenty but Haryana have overwhelmed the home team in the semi-final, an astounding feat indeed. They are a very good team,” she added.
Having reached the final, Haryana coach Anil Dhull appeared ecstatic.
“The entire credit goes to the girls. They have shown their character to garner the results,” Dhull said.
On being asked whether his team will start as the underdogs against mighty Manipur in the final, he stated, “Manipur have smashed whomsoever they have faced in the tournament so far. But their defence hasn’t been tested till now. Once we find a crack in between, it might pose a threat to them.”
Chaoba might feel a sense of relief as she has an almost 100 percent fit team at her disposal whereas Haryana’s Samiksha still has a niggle. Shreya, the seasoned custodian, is also nursing a groin injury.
Although there will be only one winner in the final, all these girls would go back to their home with a lot of learning experience which would provide an added boost to their future career.