Manipur’s domination of Indian women’s football has been remarkable. It has won the title in 20 of the 25 editions of the National championship.
On Thursday we will find out if the Manipur women could make it 21. If they do, it would be commendable – for, they would be doing it without many of their main players.
Those players are doing national duty at the moment. They are in Kochi – about five hours’ drive from here – for the Indian team’s preparatory camp for the Asia Cup.
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Manipur’s opponent in the final, the experienced Railways team, will certainly be fancying its chances and looking for revenge. In the final of the last edition of the tournament in 2019, held at Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Manipur had beaten Railways 1-0.
Both the teams were stretched in Tuesday’s semifinals. After playing in sweltering heat for 120 minutes – not to mention the injury time – the matches were decided in shoot-outs.
The players would have appreciated the rest day they got ahead of the final, scheduled to kick off at the Corporation Stadium at 3 p.m. (You could catch the action live on the YouTube page of the All India Football Federation).
Among the players to watch out for are Railways’ Mamta and Manipur’s Irom Prameshwori Devi.