Shillong, Mar 26: Reigning Indian Women’s League champions Eastern Sporting Union and last year’s runners-up Rising Students Club both got their 2018 final round campaign off to a winning start on the opening day at the JN Stadium here today.

The first match saw ESU involved in a close contest against Indira Gandhi Academy, which the former came through 3-2.

Following them, Rising beat Gokulam Kerala 2-0. The second game was largely a battle of the midfield, with few chances arising for either side.

That all changed in the 73rd minute as Gokulam’s defence started to show signs of weariness and a neat cross from the left flank was headed in by Rising’s Ngoubi Devi, which gave the Odisha team the lead.

Ngoubi Devi (right) scored the first goal for Rising Students Club

Just three minutes later Anju Tamang spotted the Gokulam goalkeeper off her line and aimed a chip over the custodian.

Meanwhile, in the opening fixture, Indira Gandhi Academy of Pondicherry battled twice from a goal down to equalise, but ESU pushed on and secured the winner.

Prameshwori Devi scored twice for the champions (47th, 59th minutes), while Kashmina had given ESU the lead in the 25th minute. Indira Gandhi Academy’s goals came from Paromita (43rd) and Sandhiya (48th).

Tomorrow Manipur’s KRYPHSA take on Sethu of Tamil Nadu at 11:00am.

(TSR photos)

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