Sethu FC outclassed Manipur Police in a thrilling encounter that saw two hat-tricks and 10 goals. The team from Madurai eventually fashioned a massive 6-4 victory over their Manipuri opponents at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, on Monday, May 6, 2019.
Sabitra Bhandari was the star of the show as she netted four first-half goals to power Sethu FC to the win. Her counterpart Bala Devi was also on song, scoring two goals, but her efforts went in vain.
Sabitra, who has been a menace for Nepal on the international front, continued her exploits for Sethu right from the kick-off, as she finished off a move on the 29th second. This was the fastest goal of the Hero Indian Women’s League (IWL) this season.
The Nepal striker struck again a quarter of an hour later, before an own goal by Sethu keeper Sowmiya pulled one back for Manipur Police. However, Bhandari earned her hat-trick on the 34th minute itself, Grace fed her a ball from the right and she slipped it past the Manipur keeper Panthoi Chanu.
Bala Devi shipped one over Sethu keeper Sowmiya’s head to make it 2-3, but Sabitra scored her fourth with just seconds left on for the half-time whistle.
After the change of ends, Pramodini Chanu and Dangmei Grace scored in quick succession post the hour mark, to bring the score 5-3 in Sethu’s favour. Bhandari broke away with a quarter of an hour left, and unselfishly squared it to Grace, who tapped it into an empty to put the match beyond any doubts.
Bala Devi did score her second goal of the match in injury time of the second half, but it was too little, too late for Manipur Police.