Tuesday, Dec 05, 2023 08:00 [IST]
Last Update: Tuesday, Dec 05, 2023 02:30 [IST]
GANGTOK,: In a historic achievement, the Sikkim women's team has emerged triumphant, topping the table in the first round of the Hero Senior Women's National Football Championship (Hero Senior Women's NFC).
Placed in Group C alongside formidable opponents, Sikkim showcased exceptional skill, determination, and team spirit throughout the tournament, a Sikkim Football Association (SFA) press release informs.
The opening match against Chandigarh concluded in a goalless stalemate, setting the stage for an impressive journey ahead. The young women of Sikkim displayed sheer dominance in the subsequent matches, securing a 6-0 victory against Tripura, with Muskan Subba's remarkable hattrick and contributions from Nimita Gurung, Simran Gurung, and Rojana Lepcha.
The third match against the powerhouse Kerala witnessed Sikkim's edge with a lone goal scored by Simran Gurung, boosting the team's morale for the challenges ahead. The fourth match against Assam saw Sikkim securing a commanding 3-0 lead with goals from Simran Gurung, Nimita Gurung, and skipper Prekila Tamang.
The final match against the host team, Karnataka, proved to be a thrilling encounter. Despite facing an initial setback, the Sikkim cricket team, currently participating in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Bengaluru, rallied behind the women's team. With goals from Simran Gurung and Muskan Subba, the women's team clinched a spectacular 2-1 victory, securing the top position in the group.
This marks the first time that the Sikkim team has progressed past Round 1 in any Women’s National Football Championship—a milestone celebrated by SFA president Menla Ethenpa, who immediately upon the conclusion of the match, called the team and congratulated each and every player, and officials of the team.
"This unprecedented performance is a feather in the cap of Sikkim Football. Congratulations to each team member and support staff for turning this dream into a reality. Our sincere gratitude to the Chief Minister, and Chief Patron, Krishna Rai-Golay, for their unwavering support," he expressed.
SFA general secretary Phurba Sherpa commended the team's hard work and humility, stating, "The women deserve every bit of the spotlight being shined upon them. Special thanks to the Sikkim Cricket Team for rallying behind the team, and cheering them on to a nailbiting victory.”
The SFA extended heartfelt appreciation to head coach Puspa Gurung, assistant coach Alpan Lepcha, manager Ms. Sujana Rai and team physio Meghna Pradhan for their guidance and support.
As the Sikkim women's team advances to Round 2, the SFA looks forward to continued success and the prospect of securing a spot in the semi-finals, with eyes on potential qualification for the National Games, the release mentions.