Jr Girls C’ship: Gujarat, Mizoram in quarters
Kolhapur, April 25: The final round of fixtures in the group stages of the Junior Girls' National Football Championships 2019 came to a close on Thursday with Gujarat and Mizoram becoming the last two teams to book their place in the quarterfinals, which are set to begin on Friday.
Jharkhand, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Odisha and Himachal Pradesh have already booked their quarter-final berths.
Chhattisgarh exited the tournament with three points in their account as they got the better of Pondicherry in the last Group E match. Laxmi Mandavi grabbed a hat-trick (32', 43', 77') while Priyanka Kashyap (22', 62'), Gunjan Gwal (21') and Reet Kashyap (54') also found the back of the net for Chhattisgarh.
In group F, Gujarat entered the last eight after getting the desired result against Telangana in a thrilling encounter. The team headed into the match knowing that they had to win by three goals or more, having drawn 0-0 against Bihar, who sat on top with four points.
Alkaben Thakor and Aruna Chauhan scored in the 15th and 41st minutes for Gujarat as they went into the break two goals ahead. In the 62nd minute, the crucial goal came through Drishti Pant as Gujarat won 3-0 and went ahead of Bihar on goal difference.
With Himachal Pradesh already in the last eight from Group G, hosts Maharashtra ended their campaign with a 3-1 win over Chandigarh. Priyanka Sujeesh opened the scoring in the 21st minute while Sai Sankhe added a second with the last kick of the first half.
After the break, Chandigarh bounced back as captain Antrika scored from the spot to reduce the gap but Sankhe scored her second goal of the game in the 68th minute to secure the three points for Maharashtra.
In group H, the stakes were high as Mizoram and Kerala faced off in a virtual play-off for a last eight spot and at the end of the 90 minutes, it was the side from the north-east that went through after a 4-2 win.
Mizoram started off at a fast pace, racking up four goals in the first half through Lalrinmuani's hat-trick (20', 23', 37') and an own goal from Soniya Jose in the 32nd minute. The Kerala side fought hard in the second half, halving the deficit through Sreelakshmi (47') and Arya Sree (79') but fell short in the end.