In the recently concluded 24th Senior Women’s National Football Championship 2018, the Manipur women’s team claimed victory in the final by defeating hosts Odisha by a 2-1 margin. Last time, the same team lost out in the final to Tamil Nadu and this year the victory marked the 19th time for Manipur to have won the trophy. Both sides arrived at the finals by battling hard in the semifinals. Manipur played the Railways team to score 4-3 in a penalty shootout. On the other hand, Odisha defeated defending champions Tamil Nadu in a thrilling match that ended 4-3.
The final, held at Barabati Stadium, was an exciting affair. After a tense start, it appeared as if the first half would end goalless but Manipur took the lead when Captain Bala Devi found the net in the 45th minute. Soon after the break, Irom Prameshwori Devi doubled her team’s lead with a goal in the 50th minute. The hosts continued to look for a comeback and found a goal with nine minutes to play via midfielder Aarti Sethi However, Manipur defended well and went on to lift the trophy.