Dadra & Nagar Haveli end Arunachal’s dream run at Hero Jr (U-17) Women’s NFC

ITANAGAR, 2 Jul: Arunachal’s dream run at the Hero Junior (U-17) Women’s National Football Championship came to an end after Dadra & Nagar Haveli defeated them 5-0 in the semifinal in Guwahati, Assam, on Saturday.

In-form player Pooja of the winning team alone scored four goals in the match. She put her team ahead by scoring in the 24th minute with a well-taken penalty shot. She further extended the lead to 2-0 by scoring in the 30th minute.

Dadra & Nagar Haveli were leading Arunachal 2-0 at the end of the first half. Arunachal’s defence appeared clueless about the swift attack by their opponents.

Arunachal came out stronger in the second half and created chances, but were denied the equalisers.

Luck was not in favour of Arunachal as it conceded the third goal in the 67th minute. The shot deflected off Pooja, which was beyond the goalkeeper’s reach.

Dadra & Nagar Haveli wrapped up the match by scoring two more goals in the 81st and the 84th minutes.

Pooja, who scored four goals, was adjudged the player of the match. She has so far scored 10 goals in the ongoing championship.

Even though the team could not make it to the final, they won the hearts of many football enthusiasts.

“We are very proud of our girls and the team management, who gave their best and proved that we can also compete against very best teams and beat them,” the Arunachal Pradesh Football Association (APFA) said in a press statement.

“They have set a new benchmark. We are sure that this team has inspired many a young football player to work hard on their game and play to achieve greatness,” the APFA added.

Dadra & Nagar Haveli will meet Bihar in the final, to be played on 4 July.

Bihar defeated Haryana 3-1 in the first semifinal played in the morning.