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WIFA Inter District Championship: Mumbai, Kolhapur set up final clash

Defending champions Mumbai breezed past Nagpur to reach the final and will now defend their title against Kolhapur who edged past Pune 2-1 in the second semi-final.

Two goals on either side of the half assured Mumbai a comfortable 4-0 win over Nagpur to reach the final of the WIFA Inter-District Championship held at PDTS Ground, Palghar.

Akansha Kandolkar started the proceeding for Mumbai within the sixth minute when her strike from the edge of the box beat the keeper to find the net. Mumbai looked comfortable in the game and soon doubled their lead around the half-hour mark when Nishka Prakash tapped in from close range after a low cross from the right to make it 2-0. Mumbai added a chance to take a 3-0 lead before the break when the referee awarded them a penalty after a foul inside the box. However, Valencia Dmello’s strike came off the bar before getting cleared away as Nagpur breathed a sigh of relief.

The second half story continued in the same vein with Karen Pais making it 3-0 around the hour mark with a clinical finish in front of goal. As the game entered its final moments, Valencia Dmello made up for her earlier error with a stunning long-range shot that nestle into the net past the keeper to make it 4-0 as the game came to a close soon after.

In the second semi-final of the day, Kolhapur edged past Pune challenge to reach the finals. In a close encounter, Kolhapur managed to control the game and keep the Pune attack at bay during the crucial moments to take the game home.

The game had an end-to-end start with both sides looking to break the deadlock early. Sonali Salvi opened the scoring in the 36th minute to put Kolhapur in front at the break. In the second half, Samruddhi doubled the lead to put Kolhapur in a comfortable position. However, just when it looked like the game was headed towards the inevitable Kolhapur win, Aishwarya Jagtap pulled one back for Pune to set up a tense final few minutes. Pune tried hard but couldn’t break the Kolhapur defense again as the match ended 2-1.

Mumbai faces Kolhapur in the final of the competition on Saturday, Aug 6.

Full-Time Scores:

SF 1 – Mumbai (Akansha Kandolkar 6′, Nishka Prakash 32′, Karen Pais 62′, Valencia D’mello 86′) 4 – 0 Nagpur

SF 2 – Kolhapur (Sonali Salvi 36′, Samruddhi Katkole 77′) 2 – 1 Pune (Aishwarya Jagtap 89′)