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 Picture: AIFF Media

Internet Desk | 09/02/2017

Eastern Sporting Union finished their campaign in the group stage of the inaugural edition of the Indian Women’s League with 12 points out of 5 matches - taking second spot, despite being level on points with leaders Rising Student’s Club, but falling prey to goal difference - following their 1-0 win over Alakhpura FC at the Ambedkar Stadium in the Capital today (February 09, 2017). 

With Alakhpura finishing at third with nine points, the semi-finals will see a rematch of the last match of the group stage, when Eastern Sporting Union take on Alakhpura in the semi-final clash on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, group leaders Rising Student’s Club will face fourth placed FC Pune City in the other semi-final clash. 

It was all Eastern Sporting Union in the opening minutes of the match as they attacked from the whistle, and scored with their shot on goal in the 2nd minute when Kamala Devi’s header off a Prameshowri cross from the right flank went into the net. 

With Eastern Sporting Union taking an early lead, Alakhpura were left stunned and forced to commit bodies in defence, following relentless attacking display by their opponents. 

In the 10th minute, Prameshwori Devi cut inside from the right flank and her curling shot went inches wide of the goal. Alakhpura’s first shot on goal came in the 15th minute from a free-kick from more than 30 yards out as Munesh Kumari’s attempt was clutched safely by Panthoi Chanu. 

After the half-time scoreline read 1-0, ESU adopted a more attacking stance to the game. But despite creating goal scoring chances, ESU were unable to breach the Alakhpura fortress due to lack of finishing upfront. 

Kamala Devi although came close numerous times to find the net, but was often flagged offside as the Alakhpura defence decided to play a high line. 

In the 62nd minute, a Kamala Devi chip found Kashmina clear of the defensive mix but her shot failed to test the custodian. 

A minute later Kamala tried to take advantage of a defensive howler but could only rattle the woodwork with her shot. Perhaps the best chance for Alakhpura came in the 67th minute when Deepika rounded off an oncoming Panthoi Chanu but failed to find the net from handshaking distance. 

The ESU defence stood strong to see off the match and the full-time scoreline read 1-0 in ESU’s favour. 

Indian Women’s League semi-finals: 

February 11, 2017 (11AM): Rising Student’s Club vs FC Pune City 

February 11, 2017 (3PM): Eastern Sporting Union vs Alakhpura FC

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