Guwahati (Assam) [India], June 30 (ANI): Haryana and Dadra and Nagar Haveli have sealed their spot in the semi-finals of the Junior (U-17) Women's NFC 2022-23 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium after victories over West Bengal and Kerala respectively.
The action began in the 9 am kick-off as Haryana took on West Bengal. It was Haryana who came flying out of the blocks, dominating the game in the opening stages but in the 11th minute, Sonali Soren missed an excellent opportunity as a cross was whipped in from the right.
This could have given West Bengal the lead against the run of play and could have taken the match in a completely different direction.
Haryana had their first chance a few minutes later, but they failed to capitalise on it. Midfielder Nancy came close in the 21st minute when she tried to shoot from a tight angle but failed to test the goalkeeper. In the 24th minute, Saniya came close from a long range effort but West Bengal were able to comfortably keep them out.
The biggest chance of the first half came in the 35th minute when Nancy made her way past the defenders and came one against one against the goalkeeper, but Puja Das was quick and brave as she made a brilliant save. In the 42nd minute, Haryana came even closer as Nancy struck the crossbar with a looping effort.
Haryana again had a golden opportunity after the break, but Sanya missed the target from point-blank range. However, at the hour mark, West Bengal's resistance was broken. Miscommunication between the backline and the goalkeeper allowed Saniya to take advantage and slot the ball into an empty net.
Plenty of half chances came after that as well but neither team could score from it and Haryana became the third team to secure their spot in the semi-final.
In the 3 PM kick-off between Kerala and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the latter were knocked out of the tournament as the latter secured a spot in the semi-finals with a handsome victory.
Dominating the game from start to finish, Dadra and Nagar Haveli scored first in the 27th minute when Muskan unleashed a wonderful looping effort from over 25 yards out to find the back of the net.
In the 55th minute, Dadra and Nagar Haveli doubled their advantage as they counter-attacked with lightning pace. Jijina Venu rushed off her line trying to stop the goal but Pooja delicately chipped the ball over her for the second goal of the game. They wrapped things up in style as Himanshi smashed the ball home from a long range free-kick. This shattered any hope that Kerala had of making a comeback in the game.
Pooja put the icing on cake in the dying moments when she followed up after a brilliant save from Jijina to make it 4-0. Today's results mean Haryana and Dadra and Nagar Haveli have qualified to the semi finals of the Junior (U-17) Women's NFC 2022-23.
Haryana will take on Bihar at 9 AM in the semi final stage whereas Dadra and Nagar Haveli will take on Arunachal Pradesh at 3 PM on July 2, 2022. (ANI)