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Manipur win women's football gold

December 21, 2002 20:07 IST

Holders Manipur successfully defended their title, edging past Bengal 1-0 in the final of women's football tournament at the 32nd National Games in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Shanti Devi scored the all-important goal for Manipur, who held territorial sway for most part of the 90-minute encounter at the Lal Bahadur Shastri football stadium.

Orissa coasted to a 4-0 win over hosts Andhra Pradesh in the bronze medal play-off earlier in the day at the Police ground. Lethal striker Sradhanjali Smanta Rai slotted home a brace while Sunita Soreng and Pinky Bompal Nagar scored one apiece for Orissa.

Despite the final outcome, it proved to be a creditable performance on the part of Bengal, who had suffered a 0-8 drubbing against Manipur in their tournament lung-opener.

Manipur scored in the 10th minute from a free-kick, awarded by referee Bentala D'Couth of Kerala. Shanthi Devi's 25-yard set-piece went into the net to the left of Bengal custodian Sujatha Sinha, who failed to anticipate the shot.

Three minutes later Manipur striker Tabai Devi came close to scoring, but her shot was narrowly off target.

The Bengal girls thereafter stepped up gears, attacking with gusto, but the Manipur defenders stood firm to keep their citadel safe.

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