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Monthly Archives July 2017

WIFA Women’s Championship Best Player Aishwarya Balapure’s interview

WIFA Women’s Championship Best Player Aishwarya Balapure’s interview

Over the years, we have seen numerous players who had to define the Tournament or Championship just by their natural talent. In the recently played WIFA Women’s Championship, it was Aishwarya Balapure who produced some magical moments for herself and most importantly, Mr. Vinay Murgod’s passionate and courageous side – United Poona SA (UPSA).

Aishwarya displayed brilliant performance in the Group Stages where she notched up 5 goals to guide United Poona SA into the semis. “Our squad have 4-5 players who belong from slums. We have been providing them the opportunities to improve themselves. It is their dream to play for the National side in the future.”

Aishwarya further added: “It is been over 18 years since the UPSA Academy is encouraging the underprivileged children who have no background. We are their role models, they are the stars of the next generation.”

For having an impressive Tournament, Aishwarya was awarded the ‘Best Player’ Award. But during the presentation, she asked each and every player to join her, mentioning that it is their efforts on whom she has shined throughout the Championship.

A brilliant gesture to acknowledge her teammates who have been equally terrific throughout. She also mentioned her teammate Dhanashri Landge who scored a goal earlier in the Tournament. Dhanashri has been recruited from the slums which send a strong message to rest of the kids and children to never give up on their dreams.

“We have trained professionally, we play to improve and not to win. We do it for the team, I have done it for the team. I scored so I won the ‘Best Player’ award, but if the defenders and midfielders don’t pass me the ball, I wouldn’t have scored. I don’t deserve this award, the whole team does,” Aishwarya concluded.

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AIFF D License Course – 27th to 31st March 2017 – Results

AIFF D License Course – 27th to 31st March 2017 – Results

The AIFF ‘D’ License results for 27th to 31st March 2017 batch held at Cooperage Football Stadium, Mumbai.

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Post-match interview FC Pune City’s Senorita Nongpluh

Post-match interview FC Pune City’s Senorita Nongpluh

Prior to WIFA (Western India Football Association) Women’s Championship, who’d have thought a 13-year old would take the Championship by storm? Earlier this year, FC Pune City’s star striker Senorita Nongpluh made the headlines when she became the youngest Player ever to feature in the Indian Women’s League.

A few days later, she broke another record after scoring against Aizawl FC to become the youngest goalscorer ever in the National League. Even Indian Women’s Team legend Bembem Devi praised her when she was up against Senorita herself during a league game.

“She reminds me of myself,” Bembem said.

Yesterday, after the post-match presentation, she thanked her teammates and coach for giving her the opportunity and support. Not to forget, it was Senorita who scored twice to help FC Pune City lift the title.

When asked how she has gelled and mingled with the team so well, the 13-year old said: “I am with them since the last five years. Though I feel new to them, we have always mingled pretty well with each other. We crack jokes and I have a special bond with everyone.

Each one of them has treated me like parents. I am so thankful to the whole team and coach for playing and encouraging me throughout the Championship,” Senorita said.

“I want to improve on shooting, whenever I enter the box, I have always tried dribbling instead of finishing. That’s where I want to improve,” Senorita on where she needs to improve to become a much better player.

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FC Pune City’s coach Mohan Dass’ interview

FC Pune City’s coach Mohan Dass’ interview

On Monday evening, a new dawn embarked for FC Pune City Academy in Mumbai. The Pune outfit. managed by Mohan Dass, became the Champions of the inaugural WIFA Women’s Championship which is a FIFA-AIFF State Development Initiative to promote Women’s football in India.

FC Pune City got the better of United Poona SA in the Final after registering a comfortable 3-0 victory. After the post-match ceremony, we interviewed Pune City’s Coach Mohan Dass who spoke about the Championship, their journey, and Pune City’s star forward Senorita Nongpluh.

“First of all, Thank You to WIFA for organizing such a big tournament for girls. It is a pleasure to see all the girls play at an iconic stadium like Cooperage. Our journey started with a loss. We were very upset that we didn’t manage to get the result in our opening game. We later analyze our mistakes and came back stronger to go all the way,” Mohan said. 

Bodyline SC, who was touted as the favorites to win the Championship were eliminated by FC Pune City itself in the semis. Mohan Dass recalled how FC Pune City prepared for the big clash.

We analyzed Bodyline carefully by studying their mistakes and weakness from the previous matches. We trained according to it and got the result we wanted. I won’t say we defeated them, but we gave a good fight and in the end, it was us who prevailed,” the head coach recalled.

While in the Final against United Poona SA, we pressed them from the first-half itself as we studied their strategy too. It helped us a lot to score three goals in the first twenty minutes,” Mohan added.

The Coach didn’t hesitate to praise 13-year old star forward Senorita Nongpluh who scored twice in the final: “She can deliver good performance week and week out. She possesses a natural talent at such a young age which is quite astonishing to see in our country. Well, you can say Indian Messi (laughs).”

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Senorita’s brilliance wins WIFA Women’s Championship for FC Pune City

Senorita’s brilliance wins WIFA Women’s Championship for FC Pune City

3rd July 2017: The inaugural WIFA Women’s Championship came to conclusion on Monday evening after FC Pune City triumphed over an energetic United Poona SA side 3-0 at Cooperage Stadium. It was 13-year old Senorita Nongpluh’s brilliance which inspired Mohan Das’ side to overcome a tough challenge from United Poona SA.

The match started off brightly for FC Pune City when Senorita opened the scoring just inside the 5th minute as she had only the goalkeeper to beat, giving Pune City a brilliant start in the Final. Senorita’s sublime finish proved too good for UPSA’s goalkeeper.

Things got worst for United Poona SA when Muriel Adam made it 2-0 in the 11th minute which delivered a huge blow to UPSA’s title hopes. FC Pune City kept pressing UPSA’s backline which turned out to be a good tactic as the defense couldn’t make a way for Aishwarya Balapure who rarely got the ball possession.

Undoubtedly, FC Pune City’s best player in the Tournament – Senorita was as good as she was in the previous games. She soon made it 3-0 after a brilliant build-up by Pratima and Deepika. A couple of minutes later, Senorita would have completed her hat-trick when she saw her powerful shot rattled the bar.

United Poona SA had a big task ahead of them in the second-half. FC Pune City defended brilliantly and kept UPSA’s attackers at bay. Dhanashri and Aishwarya, both had a good game in the second-half but couldn’t manage to go past FC Pune City’s defense. In the end, it was FC Pune City who comfortably held on to their lead to emerge as the Champions.

Bodyline SC’s Karen Pais was awarded ‘Golden Boot’ for ending up as the top scorer with nine goals in four matches, whereas, United Poona SA’s Aishwarya Balapure won the ‘Best Player of the Tournament’ award for an impressive performance and leadership throughout the Championship.

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FC Pune City to face United Poona SA in Final

FC Pune City to face United Poona SA in Final

2nd July 2017: The WIFA Women’s Championship is down to just two teams after the semi-final was concluded earlier today at Cooperage Stadium. FC Pune City defeated Bodyline SC 7-6 via penalties after the game finished 1-1, whereas, United Poona SA overcame Aadhar Pratishtan 1-0 in a closely contested semi-final.

More importantly, the final which will be played tomorrow at Cooperage Stadium is between two Pune outfits – FC Pune City and United Poona SA.

The first semi-final between Bodyline SC and FC Pune City was nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. FC Pune City took the lead early in the match when Pooja More found the net from close range to give her side a vital lead. Pune City could have increased their lead later in the first-half through Senorita Noughpluh and Pooja More but a strong Bodyline’s defense somehow held their nerves.

At the stroke of the half-time, Championship’s top scorer Karen Pais levelled the score after a brilliant run from the left flank to register her nine goals in four matches. The score remained at 1-1 as the match was headed into the penalty shootout.

FC Pune City failed to utilize their advantage twice in the penalties but a superb save by Deepika Masurkar gave them one more chance to prevail and this time they did as the girls in orange booked their place in the Final.

The second semi-final between United Poona SA and Aadhar Pratishtan also went down to the wire as a lone goal from star forward Aishwarya Balapure proved enough for the Pune-based side to cruise into the Final.

United Poona SA defended for their lives in the last quarter of the game to deny Aadhar Pratishtan to take the match into the penalties. In the end, it was UPSA’s supreme defense which helped them go all the way to set up an exciting clash against FC Pune City at Cooperage, tomorrow.

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WIFA Women’s Championship semi-final preview

WIFA Women’s Championship semi-final preview

After a successful Group Stage campaign, WIFA Women’s Championship 2017 is all set to resume from tomorrow as the place for the final is up for grabs at Cooperage Stadium. Four teams from two groups have successfully made their way into the semi-final who are undoubtedly the best teams so far: Bodyline SC (Mumbai), Aadhar Pratishtan (Mumbai), FC Pune City (Pune) and United Poona SA (Pune).

Here are the semi-final fixtures:

Bodyline SC (Mumbai) vs FC Pune City (Pune)

This clash has the potential to be the best match of the Championship. The qualities, determination and grit among both these sides are immense and this can turn this encounter into a thrilling semi-final. Bodyline SC is heading into the last four with an astonishing record of scoring 24 goals and conceding none in three games, passing a strong statement to the rest of the three teams.

Meanwhile, FC Pune City has been a bit cautious in their three group stage matches where they have only scored thrice and conceded one. Though previous match stats don’t matter when it comes to a knockout match, FC Pune City must take this battle to the field aggressively and fight as a unit to stop Bodyline’s supreme attack and organized defence.

FC Pune City needs to take care of Karen Pais who is currently the top scorer in the Championship with eight goals in only three matches, whereas, Senorita Noughpluh and Muriel Adam of FC Pune City might cause problems for the Bodyline’s backline. Irrespective of the result, this semi-final clash is surely going down the wire.

Aadhar Pratishtan (Mumbai) vs United Poona SA (Pune)

Another ‘Mumbai vs Pune‘ clash in the semis. While Aadhar Pratishtan has performed brilliantly in the group stage, the visitors United Poona SA has been equally impressive so far. Though the Pune outfit lost 7-0 against Bodyline SC, the rest of their two games turned out to be a brilliant watch.

This match might turn out to be the most unpredictive clash of the Championship. Aadhar Pratishtan’s impressive team performance will be up against one of the most impressive player of the Championship, a side riding on Aishwarya Balapure’s brilliance. She completely changed the course of the match on her feet against Poddar International and Rahul FC and it might come back to haunt Aadhar Pratishtan.

On the other end, the brilliant link-up between Jyotika Singh, Priya Tiwari and Malaika Chauhan of Aadhar Pratishtan will be hoping to cause serious threats against a side who has conceded nine goals in three group matches. An exciting semi-final awaits tomorrow.

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WIFA Women’s Championship Group Standing and Review

WIFA Women’s Championship Group Standing and Review

It’s been more than a week since the WIFA Women’s Championship has gone underway. With all the Group Stage coming to an end yesterday, the stage is set for the semi-finals which will be played tomorrow at Cooperage Stadium. Bodyline SC, United Poona SA, Aadhar Pratishtan and FC Pune City has made it to the last four after being stand-out performers across both the Groups.

Group A:

The Group A kicked off on 23rd June at Cooperage when United Poona SA met Poddar International in the opening match of the Tournament. UPSA’s Aishwarya Balapure left no stone unturned as she helped her side snatch all three points in a 3-2 victory. She scored twice and assisted the other goal to start UPSA campaign on a winning note. The very next day, Mumbai’s Bodyline SC caused havoc when they overcame United Poona SA 7-0, courtesy of Karen Pais’ sublime hat-trick.

After suffering a narrow defeat in the first match, Poddar International displayed a brilliant performance to sink Rahul FC 5-0 after Pranali Chauhan emulated Karen Pais’ to score a hat-trick for her side. Continuing from where they had left in the first match, Bodyline registered an identical 7-0 win against Poddar International to book their place in the last four with a game to play.

Aishwarya Balapure also continued her spectacular form as she finally managed to score a hat-trick when United Poona SA run riot against Rahul FC in a comfortable 7-0 win. The win also booked UPSA’s berth in the last four along with Bodyline SC.

Bodyline completed their group stage campaign with another staggering performance when they trounced Rahul FC 10-0 as Karen Pais scored four goals to end up as Group A top goal-scorer with eight goals in three games.

WIFA Women’s Championship Group A standings

 Group B:

Group B didn’t saw as many goals as in the first. This turned out to be more of an organized and defensive unit. Group B went underway on 28th June when Aadhar Pratishtan faced FC Pune City. Jyotika Singh scored the decisive goal in the 55th minute to seal the victory for the Mumbai-based side at Cooperage.

In the second match of the day, a goal each from Mrunal Khot and Aishwarya Havaldar proved enough for KSA Women’s FC as they registered a narrow 2-0 victory over Tirpude SC. On matchday two, Tirpude SC suffered another loss when they went down 2-0 against Aadhar Pratishtan, courtesy of Priya Tiwari and Malaika Chauhan’s strike in the second-half.

FC Pune City fought back after losing against Aadhar Pratishtan when an injury time goal by Muriel Adam helped the Pune outfit to snatch all three points against KSA Women’s FC. On the last matchday, FC Pune City confirmed their place in the last four with a 2-0 win over Tirpude SC, thanks to Senorita Noughpluh’s twin strikes.

Aadhar Pratishtan finished their Group stage campaign as the winners with FC Pune City finishing as the runner-up.

Semi-finals fixtures: Bodyline SC (Mumbai) vs FC Pune City (Pune) and Aadhar Pratishtan (Mumbai) vs United Poona SA (Pune).

WIFA Women’s Championship Group B standings

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