Riding on a brace of goals by attacking midfielder Bhumika Mane, Maharashtra (WIFA) romped to a convincing 5-1 win against Mizoram in the opening Group-II league match of the Hero 27th Senior Women's National Football Championship 2022-23, here on Tuesday.
In the other matches of the same group, fancied Kerala blanked Pondicherry 6-0, while Uttarakhand and Chandigarh played out a goalless draw.
In other matches on Tuesday, Telangana handed a 6-0 defeat to Haryana while Sikkim held Punjab 1-1.
Earlier, besides the efforts of junior international Bhumika, the entire Maharashtra team produced a solid collective performance to make a bright winning start in the match played at the IGIS Complex.
The Sanaya Anklesaria-coached Maharashtra team opened the scoring in the 14th minute through Sapna Rajpure's strike to gain ascendancy. Maharashtra doubled the lead when Arya More found the back of the Mizoram net in the 36th minute.
Maharashtra continued to press forward and Bhumika did well to score the third goal in the second minute of the additional period and give her team a commanding 3-0 cushion at the break.
On resumption, Mizoram showed signs of fighting back and cut the deficit with Deborah Lalenpuii scoring their lone goal in the 52nd minute.
Maharashtra continued to search for goals and Sanika Patil struck the fourth goal in the 55th minute before the energetic Bhumika was once again on target with the fifth goal to complete the winning tally.
The Maharashtra women will meet Pondicherry in the second group match on Friday (Mar 31).
( 271 Words)