Goa got their senior women’s national football championship campaign off to a flying start with a comfortable 3-0 win against Rajasthan at PJN Stadium, Fatorda. Karen Estrocio netted a brace, and Velanie Fernandes scored one goal.
Goa started the match on a commanding note where Sushmita Jadhav had a couple of early chances, but she squandered both the opportunities.
Goa did not allow Rajasthan to settle down in the game. Velanie Fernandes saw her attempt go wasted. Rajasthan goalkeeper Deepika made a fine save to deny Namita Govekar.
Goa finally broke the deadlock at the half-hour mark when Namita Shripad Govekar sent in a glorious ball in the area where Karen Estrocio leapt highest to nod in to give Goa a deserving lead. Goa led 1-0 at the half time interval.
In the second half, Goa doubled the lead through Karen Estrocio who smashed in a powerful shot to make it 2-0. In the 64th minute, Valanie Fernandes scored with a long-range shot to take the game beyond the opponents’ reach.
Goa would have scored more if not for Rajasthan’s defender Priyanka Yadav and Jyoti came up with crucial blocks to deny Velanie, Rizella Almeida and Sushmita.
AIFF General Secretary Shaji Prabhakaran and GFA President Dr. Caitano Fernandes were present for the opening ceremony of the game and declared the tournament open.
In another match, Odisha trounced Andhra Pradesh 8-0 with Malati Mundi scoring a sensational treble.
Odisha broke the deadlock in the 16th minute through Sumitra Hembram, whose powerful shot had no answer from Vennela. In the next minute, it was Deepa Nayak with a strike after being fed by Satyabati Khadia. Khadia was impressive on the right flank. Her dribbling and pace made it difficult for the opponents.
Odisha scored their third just before the half-hour mark when Sumitra played Deepa through on goal from her own half. Deepa had to cover half length and was calmly placed in the bottom left corner. Odisha scored their fourth in the 44th minute and it came from a set piece when Deepa and Sumitra played a short corner and the former sent in a low cross which was headed in by Grace H. Malati Munda made it 5-0 just before the breather, once again it was Deepa with a through pass from the midfield. In the additional time, Odisha were gifted a goal when A.P. keeper Kaluvapalli failed to deal with a Jasoda shot and Malati Munda capitalised to make it 6-0 at break. Odisha scored their seventh after a fine cross from the right was met by Malati, who smashed in at the roof of the net. In the 53rd minute, Jasoda made it 8-0 with a fine placement shot.