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WIFA Women’s Football League: Kolhapur Warriors beat Kenkre in tournament opener

The opening game of the WIFA Women’s Football League saw Kolhapur Warriors beat Kenkre FC 3-1 kicking off their campaign with all three points

The early morning fixture of Day 1 of the WIFA Women’s league started with Kolhapur Warriors taking on Mumbai’s Kenkre FC. The former looked well settled right from the start moving the ball smoothly and controlling the game.

In the 11th minute, Kolhapur won a freekick just outside the box after a handball by Kenkre Defender Krishita Iyer. Arya More stepped up and curled in a brilliant ball that beat the wall and the Keeper to nestle into the top right corner making it 1-0 in favor of the Warriors. Kolhapur continued to attack but were held off by some strong defensive lines.

Around the half-hour mark, Kenkre were given an opportunity to make a comeback when Skipper Harshika Jain’s shot struck the hands of a Kolhapur defender on the goal line. The resulting penalty was taken by Anay Bai, who placed the ball in the bottom right corner of the goalkeeper.

With the scores level, both sides played some back and forth moments before entering the halftime break tied at 1-1.

The second half began with Kolhapur pressing hard for the ball and soon took the lead when in the 54th minute, a beautiful cutback by Kohlapur winger found an unmarked Tanvi Kore waiting in the middle of the box to place it brilliantly past the keeper into the bottom right corner of the net.

Riding on the momentum, Kolhapur continued to attack in search of more goals. At the other Kenkre were playing catch up struggling to keep possession of the ball. However one of the bright spots for Kenkre and perhaps their most dangerous outlet of attack, Anay Bai did create trouble for Kolhapur warriors on occasions.

One such chance came from a long-range attempt midway through the half that went just over the bar. Later in a counter-attacking move, substitute Mamta Prajapati made a good run on the left before playing it for Anay, whose final shot was straight to Kolhapur’s goalkeeper. Moments later, Anay intercepted a cross from wings turning her marker inside out before unleashing her shot on goal, however, Kolhapur GoalieKomal Daple was alert enough to save it.

Just when it looked like Kenkre were on ascendency and looking to find their way back into the game, Kolhapur struck the killer blow. In the 87th minute, Kolhapur striker Sanika Patil did well to juggle the ball over the head of her marker and shoots the ball past the keeper to make it 3-1. The game eventually ended at 3-1 with Kolhapur girls picking all three points.

Full time: Kenkre FC (Anay Bai 31’ (P)) 1 – 3 Kolhapur Warriors (Arya More 18’, Tanvi Kore 54’, Sanika Patil 87’))