Women's Football League returns after three years
It was raining goals on Day One of the MDFA-organised Women’s Football League that resumed after a gap of three years. A whopping, 25 goals were scored in the three Pool B matches played at the Bombay Gymkhana Ground yesterday. The tournament was last played in 2007-08 with Fr Agnel Gymkhana emerging champions and Sea View finishing runners-up.
Yesterday, SP Academy thrashed Titans SC 13-0 in the opening match of the league. Adeer Arsiwalla scored thrice, while Jyotika Singh, Pooja Duamal, Akanksha Khandalkar and Snehal Manchkar scored a brace each. Karishma Vazirani and Jyoti Mehra added a goal each to complete the tally.
In the second match, Sea View’s Jennifer Rayar scored five times in her team’s 10-0 win over an inexperienced Magic Bus. Valankia Fernandes and Manisha Jadhav chipped in with two goals each while Laura Estibeiro netted one.
The last match of the day though was a keenly contested encounter between Kenkre FC and Companeroes, and deservingly ended with both teams sharing points. Companeroes’ Abigail Fernandes cancelled out Sanaya Bokdawala’s opening-goal to make it 1-1.
The one-sided encounters notwithstanding however, the girls enjoyed every moment of their return to competitive football. “The venue is awesome, atmosphere is positive. We have been waiting for this day for three years. There were days when we lost hope but we motivated one another and kept the enthusiasm alive,” said Sea View’s Rayar. “MDFA never had the money, ground or time for women’s football. It’s nothing short of a miracle that this league has resumed.
“I met with a bike accident in March and hurt my wrist and hip. My doctor advised me not to play, but nothing could stop me from being a part of this league,” said Kimberly Miranda, who will don two hats at the tournament — apart from coaching Magic Bus she will play for Bodyline FC.
Kenkre FC manager Joshua Lewis though rued the fact that the standard of the game had dropped. “The girls we had three years ago were really good. But with no league in place, the girls’ priorities changed and most of them began devoting their full time to academics.
“There was no motivation for us to hold them back either. But this is a good start though and we hope this league continues,” said Lewis.
Sea View SC 10 (Jennifer Rayar 5, Valankia Fernandes 2, Manisha Jadhav 2, Laura Estibeiro) beat Magic Bus 0;
SP Academy 13 (Adeer Asriwalla 3, Jyotika Singh 2, Pooja Duamal 2, Akanksha Khandalkar 2, Snehal Manchkar 2, Karishma Vazirani, Jyoti Mehra) beat Titan FC 0; Kenkre FC 1 (Sanaya Bokdawala) drew with Companeroes SC 1 (Abigail Fernandes)